Michael Powell has been released by Glamorgan after 15 years with the club. The 34-year-old batsman, currently in his benefit year, has not been offered a new contract by the Welsh county.
“I am gutted,” said Powell. “It is a strange feeling to be released because Glamorgan has been such a big part of my life. You know it is all going to end one day, but it still hits you like a train.
“I certainly feel I’m fit and fresh enough to play for at least another two years. But every player comes to the twilight of their career. That is life and I would not want to stand in the way of anyone.
“I would like to think supporters remember me as a likeable bloke who went out of my way to talk to people. I hope I played the game in the right spirit and gave my all for the club.
“When I first broke into the team, I could not believe I was being paid for playing sport. But I went on to play in the most successful team in Glamorgan’s history. I say that proudly and unashamedly.”
It is not that Powell is being released after an awful season. He scored 675 runs in 23 County Championship innings at an average of 32.14, making him Glamorgan’s fifth-highest scorer. Glamorgan, however, have decided to pursue other options.
Powell helped Glamorgan to the 1997 County Championship in his first season before winning two one-day titles in 2002 and 2004. His career began with an unbeaten double hundred against Oxford University as a teenager.
He came within 11 runs of breaking Steve James’ record for Glamorgan’s highest innings by scoring 299 against Gloucestershire in 2006, but a year later he became critically ill.
A blood clot in his shoulder forced Powell to have a rib removed, but complications following the surgery left him fighting for his life. He made a full recovery and buried the rib in the outfield at the Swalec Stadium.
He admitted that the health scare has allowed him to take a more philosophical look at the disappointment of failing to secure a new contract.
“Once you’ve been on life-support for three or four days, losing your job pales into insignificance really,” he said. “Coming back and playing after that injury, it’s very close to me and I’m very thankful I came out the other side.”
Overall Powell struck 25 centuries in a first-class total of 12,461 runs in 212 first-class matches at an average of just under 40.