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Australia’s best Jewish cricketers set sights on Israel

Posted: 17-Jun-2012 by Cricket

Michael Klinger & Julien Wiener

Michael Klinger and Julien Wiener, arguably this country’s two best Jewish cricketers of all time, have both nominated to represent Australia at the 19th Maccabiah Games being held in Israel in July 2013.

With player nominations for the games closing on 30 June 2012 for both Open and Juniors, any interested Jewish cricketers from around Australia are strongly encouraged to follow suit and ensure their nomination gets submitted in the hope of being part of something uniquely special.

As its name suggests, the Open team is for players of any age, while the Junior teams is catered for boys aged 15-18 who are born between 1 January 1995 and 31 December 1998.

Klinger, who first attended the Maccabiah Games as a 17 year-old in 1997, has a strong desire to return to Israel and has committed to attending subject to his availability relating to his professional cricket commitments - most obviously being his potential inclusion in the 2013 Ashes squad.

"Obviously I hope to be busy in July next year playing in the Ashes for Australia," Klinger said."

"But I would absolutely love to go back to Israel again, and hopefully we can assemble a strong line-up that is capable of bringing home the gold."

Wiener, who previously attended the games for cricket in 1973, 1977 and 1985, will be 57 when the Games commence next year, and he has nominated in the hope of playing alongside one or two of his sons in what would be a dream come true for the former Australian test cricketer.

“What a wonderful experience and to potentially be part of an Australian Cricket Team in Israel enjoying everything that’s part of the Maccabiah Games would be outstanding,” Wiener said.

“Then to perhaps be part of a team that includes one and maybe both of my sons is something worth working really hard for.

“We hope to excite and inspire other prospective team members to work hard physically to prepare for the cricket and, most importantly, involve themselves strongly with all the activities we do together.”

In 2009 Australia did not field a Juniors team while the Open team finished in fourth place, and the challenge has been well-and-truly laid down to our Jewish cricketing talent – aim high and go for gold – and the push to send Australia’s strongest possible teams received even more support last week when Australian Team Management ratified the Selection Panels for both sides.

The panels feature prominent figures such as former Victorian Bushrangers Chairman of Selectors John MacWhirter, former Tasmania and WA state cricketer Steve Herzberg, while Wiener will act as a selector for the junior team. All panel members will undoubtedly bring a high level of experience and professionalism to the selection process.

And in further good news for the Australian team, Gary Kitto has recently been appointed as the Junior Coach. Gary’s significant playing and coaching background, as well as his lifelong enthusiasm for the game, will certainly be a huge benefit for all those lucky enough to be selected to attend as part of the Junior squad.

The opportunity to represent Australia and play against teams from England, South Africa, Israel and India provides a rare opportunity in one’s cricket career, while the Games also represent a chance to meet new friends, experience the history and culture of Israel, see some of the sights and embrace the local community.

Any Australian Jewish cricketers (Open or Junior) are welcome and encouraged to nominate for the Games, and can do so by visiting Nominations close on 30 June 2012.



Click here to visit the main Maccabiah Australian team website and discover answers to all the frequently asked questions about the 2013 Games.

Maccabiah Calendar

The Road to July 2013: Check out all the key dates relating to the Australian Team's path toward the 2013 Maccabiah Games in Israel.

A History of Jewish First-Class Cricketers

Read 'A history of Jewish first-class cricketers' by Melvyn Barnett, detailing Jewish cricketers who have played Test & First-Class cricket.