Stuart Darren Thomas
January 25, 1975, Morriston, Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
Left hand bat
Right arm medium
Neath Tertiary College
Darren Thomas hit the headlines on his county debut in 1992 when he took 5 for 80 gainst Derbyshire at Chesterfield aged 17 years and 212 days. The young Llanelli pace bowler subsequently won a place in the Young England side, and he also started to show rice promise with the bat. Even so, he was erratic at times, and prone to no balls, but there was no denying that Thomas could bowl with genuine pace and hostility, as testified by a return of 6-20 in the Benson and Hedges Cup match with the Combined Universities at Cardiff in 1995.
He rather lost his way in 1996, but under the wise guidance of coach Duncan Fletcher he made rapid headway during 1997, and his greater accuracy and strike rate were two of the chief factors behind Glamorgan's Championship quest. Indeed, it was fitting that Thomas should bowl Glamorgan to victory at Taunton, and to the Championship title. He was deservedly awarded his county cap in the penultimate game of the summer and during the season he impressed many good judges.
He was suitably rewarded with a place in the England A party for the 1998-99 tour to South Africa and Zimbabwe. He responded with eight wickets in the first Test, and on his return to the UK he was Glamorgan's leading wicket-taker in 1999. He was called up again by the England selectors in 1999-2000 as a replacement on the A tour to New Zealand, and returned home to become the county`s leading wicket-taker in Championship cricket in 2000.
His aggressive batting in one-day games has helped to secure several victories, in particular the Twenty20 victory over Northamptonshire in 2004, whilst later in the competition a return of 3 for 32 against Warwickshire in the quarter-final at Cardiff helped Glamorgan win a place at the finals day of the Twenty20 Cup. However, his form slipped away and although 2006 was his benefit season, he left the county after 15 years to join Essex in 2007. However, he suffered a shoulder injury in pre-season training and was forced to retire at the end of the summer.
Andrew Hignell September 2007
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