Ian Thomas entered Glamorgan's record books in 2004 by becoming the first Glamorgan player to score a century in Twenty20 cricket. His explosive 116* against Somerset at Taunton was also the first televised century in the new competition, and at the time of writing no other player has scored more in an innings in the all-action game.
The left-handed batsman and off-spin bowler made his 2nd XI debut in 1996 after progressing through the ranks of the Welsh Schoolboy elevens and impressing for Newport C.C.. However, in 1997 he sustained a severe back injury, and spent several months on the sidelines. Thomas worked hard at restoring his fitness, and his efforts were rewarded with a first-class debut in 1998 in Glamorgan's match against Cambridge University at Fenner's.
Thomas had a highly productive season with the bat for Glamorgan's 2nd XI in 2000, hitting two centuries, and amassing over 800 runs for the 2nd XI. This sheer weight of runs forced the opening batsman into the 1st XI for the last three Championship matches of the season. He made a very encouraging start, with 82 against Essex at Southend, followed by 35 against Nottinghamshire and an unbeatan 45 against Middlesex.
His efforts secured a place on Glamorgan's full-time staff for 2001, and after finishing his studies at UWIC, the young left-hander became the county's regular opening batsman in one-day games in 2002. His free-scoring batting launched many important innings as the Welsh county won the Norwich Union competition in 2002, whilst in 2004 he was a member of the Welsh county's team that won the totesport League title and a place at the finals day in the Twenty20 competition. He began the 2005 season as the county`s opening batsman in both the Championship and one-day games, but subsequently lost form, and his place in the team. He only made 129 runs in his 8 first-class innings in 2005, whilst he did not reach fifty in any of his one-day knocks, and was released from the county's staff.
(Article: Copyright © 2002 Dr.A.K.Hignell)