Mike Powell is a member of a well-known cricketing family from Abergavenny. His father and uncle are leading figures with the town's cricket club, and both had experience of Second Eleven cricket.
Mike is a solid right-handed batsman who made his 2nd XI debut for Glamorgan in 1996. After spending the off-season in Australia, he began the 1997 season in impressive form for the 2nd XI with four hundreds in the opening five games. Following such a fine start to the season, Powell made his first-class debut in early June against Oxford University, and made an unbeaten 200* to become only the third Englishman this century to score a double-hundred on first-class debut - a feat previously achieved by Hubert Doggart for Cambridge University against Lancashire at Fenners in 1948, and by Northamptonshire's David Sales, who scored 210* against Worcestershire at Kidderminster.
Powell's 200* was also the highest ever score on debut for Glamorgan, beating the 138* which Frank Pinch, a Cornish-born schoolmaster made on his Championship debut for Glamorgan at Swansea in 1921.
Powell, at 20 years and 95 days old also became Glamorgan's youngest ever double centurion, beating John Hopkins' 230 made against Worcestershire in 1977 when Hopkins was 24 years and 30 days old. Powell played in a further four first-class matches, as well as several one day games, and confirmed his rich promise for the future.
Hugh Morris' retirement at the end of 1997 saw Mike gain a regular place in the Glamorgan side in 1998, and during the season, he scored his maiden Championship hundred at Northampton, and added a further two centuries in 1999, including a Championship best 164 against Nottinghamshire at Colwyn Bay.
2000 saw Powell score a superb century against Middlesex at Cardiff, as Glamorgan gained promotion to the first division of the County Championship, and Powell also shared in two highly important century partnerships with Matthew Maynard in the Benson and Hedges Cup. The first came against Surrey in the semi-final, and the second came against Gloucestershire in the final - without these two stands, and the gifted strokeplay of Maynard and Powell, Glamorgan fans would not have celebrated their club`s first appearance in a Lord`s final since 1977.
He continued to make important contributions in limited overs games in 2001 and 2002 as Glamorgan won the Norwich Union League competition, and he was also Glamorgan`s leading run scorer in first-class matches in 2002, further enhancing his claims as one of the most promising young batsmen in the country.
Powell consolidated on this reputation in 2003 and 2004, and when Marcus Trescothick was injured in the lead-up to the one-day triangular series with New Zealand and the West Indies in 2004, Powell was called up as cover. Trescothick`s return to fitness prevented Powell from making his one-day debut, but at the end of the summer he was chosen for the ECB Academy, and in 2004/05 he was a member of the England A team that toured the United Arab Emirates and Sri Lanka.
In 2006 Mike created a club record by scoring consecutive double-hundreds in Champiosnhip matches, starting with 202 against Essex at Chelmsford and then a wonderful 299 against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham, as he became within one run of becoming the first batsman since WG Grace to score a triple century at the historic Festival.
After his record-breaking feats with the bat, Powell was desservedly chosen as Glamorgan's Player of thr Year for 2006. Sadly, he was unable to repeat these feats the folloiwng year as he was diagnosed as having a blood clot in his upper forearm in June 2007. having experirnced discomfort during Glamorgan's match with Essex at the end of May at Swansea, Mike underwent tests in hospital in Cardiff.
An operation then followed in Exeter with the removal of a rib that had been found to be putting pressure on one of his arteries leading to his left arm. Complications set in, necesitating a short spell in intensive care, and as a result, Mike was ruled out for the remainder of the 2007 season.
(Article: Copyright © 2002 Dr.A.K.Hignell)
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