Michael Klinger joins as the Head Coach for Gujarat Giants

17 days out from the upcoming 2024 edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL), the Gujarat Giants have made public the news of a new head coach being at the helm as the franchise eyes revival following an upsetting start to their WPL campaign. Michael Klinger is named as Rachael Haynes’ replacement as the Gujarat Giants head coach for the 2nd edition of the WPL. Rachael signed off her playing days as a successful cricketer and captain, but the success didn’t translate into coaching instantly, as in her first stint, she didn’t achieve the desired results with the Giants, who finished at the bottom in the five-team competition.

Michael Klinger joins as the Head Coach for Gujarat Giants. PC: Getty
Michael Klinger joins as the Head Coach for Gujarat Giants. PC: Getty

Eyeing revival, the Giants have Michael Klinger in as the head coach, alongside former India captain Mithali Raj, who will continue as the mentor and advisor for the team, and Nooshin Al Khadeer as the bowling coach. However, there’s no confirmation on whether Tushar Arothe will continue as the batting coach.

Post-retirement from the game in 2018, Michael Klinger was the head coach of the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League for a couple of years. Most recently (2023-24), he served as the assistant coach at Sydney Thunder in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), where the side finished fourth, recovering from the bottom (8th) finish from the year 2022-23.

Michael Klinger shared his goals with the team, stating, “The Gujarat Giants have a chance to do something special in Season Two of the Women’s Premier League. I’m eagerly looking forward to working with cricketing legend Mithali Raj, who has played a transformative role in women’s cricket in India. I hope to take the team to ultimate glory.”

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The franchise let go of several players following a disappointing WPL opener, retaining only Ashleigh Gardner, Beth Mooney, Dayalan Hemalatha, Harleen Deol, Laura Wolvaardt, Shabnam Shakil, Sneh Rana, and Tanuja Kanwer. The Giants retained a strong core and bolstered their squad by gaining the services of Kashvee Gautam, Phoebe Litchfield, Kathryn Bryce, and Mannat Kashyap, among others.

Gujarat Giants squad for WPL 2024:
Ashleigh Gardner, Beth Mooney, Dayalan Hemalatha, Harleen Deol, Laura Wolvaardt, Shabnam Shakil, Sneh Rana, Tanuja Kanwer, Phoebe Litchfield, Meghna Singh, Trisha Poojitha, Kashvee Gautam, Priya Mishra, *Lauren Cheatle, Kathryn Bryce, Mannat Kashyap.

*Lauren Cheatle will miss the upcoming edition of the WPL following a cancer procedure, and the franchise could name a replacement for her in due course.

The 2nd edition of WPL begins on February 23, 2024, with the final scheduled for March 17. In a caravan model, the matches in this edition will be played at Bangalore’s Chinnaswamy Stadium and Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium.

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