Jaik Charles Mickleburgh
March 30, 1990, Norwich, Norfolk
Right hand bat
Right arm medium fast
Jaik Mickleburgh's Essex career came to a halt at the end of 2016, nine years after his debut for the county, leaving him hoping for opportunities elsewhere at 26. Mickleburgh had his moments in 101 first-class matches but an average of 28.94 left Essex looking elsewhere after winning promotion to Division One of the Championship.
One of his brightest seasons at Essex came in 2013. Despite having started the season out of the side, due to the signing of Rob Quiney as overseas player, he finished that summer as Essex's leading Championship run-scorer with 829 at an average of 41.45. When he played against an England XI ahead of the 2013 Ashes, he also made 90 and 58 (the match had its first-class status removed), and went on to have his most productive spell in county cricket, including a career-best 243 against Leicestershire. He failed to press on the following season, however, managing just one half-century as the emergence of another young opener in Nick Browne cost him his place in the Championship XI and his star never really rose again.
Mickleburgh learnt much of his cricket playing for Horsford CC where the senior pros, Paul Newman, the ex-Derbyshire player, and Chris Brown from Lancashire, helped nurture him. He came through the Essex academy, playing Minor Counties cricket with Norfolk, and made his first-team debut in September 2007 in the Twenty20 Floodlit Cup. He was awarded a full-time professional contract the following year and made a half-century on Championship debut in August 2008. He developed enough to be part of England's Under-19 set-up and was also included in the England performance squad over the winter of 2009-10.
He spent the 2012-13 winter playing for Mid West Rhinos in Zimbabwe, with limited success, looking to reinvigorate his game after three years as a first-team regular while averaging in the twenties. Another overseas spell followed with North Sydney where his captaincy potential was held in high regard. There was talk from some he was Essex captaincy material, but he failed to provide the runs needed to become a serious contender.
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