Alcohol.Think Again Western Warriors batsman Michael Klinger has announced his retirement from First Class cricket in Australia at the end of this JLT Sheffield Shield season.

Klinger will continue to play Twenty20 cricket, with commitments this year in the UK, Bangladesh and in next summer’s KFC Big Bash League.

Klinger, who made his First Class debut with Victoria in the 1998-99 season, joined Western Australia in April 2014, heading west from South Australia, where he had been since 2008-09 and having captained the Redbacks since 2010.

The 37-year-old has played 182 First Class matches, amassing 11,320 runs at an average of 39.3, with a high score of 255, achieved while playing for South Australia against Western Australia in his debut season with the Redbacks.

Klinger said: “I feel extremely fortunate and blessed to have been part of the Australian domestic cricket structure for 19 years in a row and I’ve loved and appreciated every minute of it.

“I’m in a unique position where I’d like to thank three organizations who gave me opportunities at different stages of my career.

“Firstly, to Cricket Victoria for their help and support in my development and giving me my initial opportunities in domestic cricket in Australia.

“Secondly, I’d like to thank the South Australian Cricket Association for giving me an opportunity more than 10 years ago when my cricket career was at a crossroads, helping to kickstart a much-improved period of my career. I’m also thankful for the opportunity to captain both the Redbacks and Adelaide Strikers, which I really enjoyed and which helped to enhance my leadership skills.

“Finally, to the WACA for what has been an absolutely amazing and enjoyable four years, during which time I’ve had the opportunity to play as a senior player in a developing group.

“Throughout this period, I’ve learnt about professionalism, effective communication, having fun and have been extremely fortunate to be part of four trophy-winning teams with the Warriors and Scorchers.

“This was no doubt a big reason for me getting an opportunity to represent my country last year in a few T20 games, which is up there with the highlights of my career.

“I’d also like to say a special thank you to Justin Langer for his constant support with both on and-off field matters and all the staff and players who have been involved over the past four years. It’s those people who make the environment a great place to be.

“I’ve loved every second of my time here and really enjoyed and cherished playing with each and every one of my teammates. I look forward to seeing the development of all the players in this exciting WACA group.

“Since I arrived four years ago the improvement in the younger players has been immense and in many cases leading to national selections. That is a huge credit to our program, the coaching and support staff need to take a lot of credit for this and I hope that in some shape or form I was able to play a small part as well.

“These young stars, along with our elite talent coming through the ranks, has made my decision a lot easier, as I know WA cricket is in a good place.

“I also need to send a huge thank you to my family for all their support, in particular my wife Cindy and kids Bailey, Summer and Easton, who have travelled with me for the last 10 years, both interstate and overseas, to give me the best opportunity to chase my dreams.”

Warriors coach Justin Langer said: “the greatest complement I could give Michael Klinger is to explain how I’ve been pinching myself every day since he agreed to come to the WACA, because he’s such an incredible cricketer and incredible bloke.

“We nickname him Matt Priddis, because he’s the consummate professional. He is an outstanding person both on and off the field and it’s been an absolute pleasure to have him here at the WACA.”

Klinger will not be available for selection for the Shield match against Queensland next week due to family reasons.

His availability for the last game will be assessed closer to the time.