For­mats a blast for kids

The West Australian - - NEWS - Liam Croy

Pa­tience was one of Michael Klinger’s key at­tributes as an open­ing bats­man in Sh­effield Shield cricket — but his chil­dren are a bit young for all of that.

Bai­ley, 8, and Sum­mer, 6, are look­ing for­ward to their sec­ond sea­son of Wool­worths Cricket Blast — a fast-paced pro­gram to get chil­dren in­volved in the sport.

There are two vari­a­tions — the 60-minute Ju­nior Blasters for­mat for ages 5 to 7 and the 90-minute Mas­ters Blasters for­mat for ages 7 to 10.

They are much more sim­i­lar to Twenty20 cricket than the tra­di­tional two-day or five-day forms.

Each child gets a chance to bat, bowl and field. The pitches are shorter, the boundaries are shorter and there are fewer field­ers.

Klinger is pre­par­ing for his fifth sea­son with the Perth Scorchers — and his first at Op­tus Sta­dium.

“I’ve seen it with my own kids how they can get dis­tracted and can’t keep con­cen­tra­tion for three or four hours like you would have to do on a Satur­day or Sun­day morn­ing,” Klinger said.

“I think this Wool­worths Cricket Blast . . . it looks more like what their he­roes do out in the mid­dle when they watch the Big Bash.

“You prob­a­bly won’t see the ben­e­fit of it for 10 years’ time when all these kids stay in the game and then maybe go into the high­per­for­mance leagues.”

Pic­ture: Ian Munro

Michael Klinger with Bai­ley and Sum­mer.

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