Michael Klinger, the Perth Scorchers batsman, will miss an indefinite period of the ongoing Big Bash League after his wife Cindy Klinger was diagnosed with breast cancer. The right-handed batsman will not be plying his trade for the Perth-based outfit until further notice to remain with family during the tough time.
Klinger’s wife received the devastating news early this week after undergoing a scan to investigate some ongoing back pain.
The veteran batsman, who played a pivotal role in Scorchers’ title-winning campaign last season by scoring 334 runs including an unbeaten 71 in the final, earned his maiden international call-up for the T20I series against Sri Lanka early this year and had gone on to play all the three games in the series.
Klinger made the news public in an emotional letter, stating that being with his family is paramount for him at this moment.
“Playing cricket, right at this moment, is secondary,” Klinger wrote in a letter published on Scorchers’ official website.
Klinger, while being unsure of his immediate future, said his family wanted him to play the game but made it clear he would always choose his family over his profession.
“It still may happen, because Cindy wants me to play and says it will be a good distraction for her and the kids to see me do so, either on TV or at #TheFurnace. But, by my choice, if playing clashes with any appointments or treatments, or if Cindy or the kids need me, I will be by their side,” he said.
The 37-year old also revealed the diagnosis had followed a routine scan after Cindy had complained of ongoing back pain.
“Last week, my wife Cindy had a routine scan on her back, which had been causing her pain and no physiotherapy or anti-inflammatory tablets seemed to help,” Klinger said. “The result of that scan completely shocked and devastated us. Doctors identified three spots on her vertebrae that required further investigation – within hours, we were told she had cancer.
“A biopsy was taken of the lesion and determined that my wife of almost ten years had breast cancer that, based on the information we have so far, has spread to at least those three spots identified on her spine,” added an emotional Klinger.
Klinger’s absence, meanwhile, will be a big blow for the defending champions, as they are already missing the services of some key players. The likes of Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh and Cameron Bancroft are on national duty, currently playing in the Ashes, giving Scorchers’ coach Justin Langer a lot to ponder.
Moreover, Sam Whiteman, who opened the innings in the tournament last year, is also unavailable this season due to a long-term finger injury.
The three-time Big Bash League champions will begin their title-defence on Saturday against the Sydney Sixers, and their squad for that match has yet to be named.
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