At the start of the season as we selected our County Championship XI to watch in 2012 we suggested that Tom Maynard was a good outside bet for England's squad to defend the World T20 trophy in Sri Lanka in September. Now we will tragically never know.
The circumstances surrounding his death are still shrouded in mystery, but it seems he was hit by a tube train after running away from police who had stopped his car in the early hours of the morning.
23 is no age to die. Like Ben Hollioake before him, we will never know now how good Maynard could have been and whether he could had the successful international career that his father Matthew so richly deserved.
Maynard hit over 1,000 runs in the championship at 40 in his debut year for Surrey last season after moving from Glamorgan to help his new side to promotion. He already had 525 at 40.38 this season including a phenomenally good hundred at New Road that nearly enabled Surrey to win after following on. But it was as a hard hitting ODI or T20 batsman and brilliant fielder that Maynard was likely to first break into the England side.
We heard Stereophonics 'Local Boy in the Photograph' on the radio this morning for the first time in ages. This was a couple of hours before the terrible news surfaced about Maynard, and it is his fellow Welshmen that perhaps have the most poignant words on this desperately sad day:
"He'll always be 23, yet the train runs on and on
And all the friends lay down the flowers
Sit on the banks and drink for hours
Talk of the way they saw him last
Local boy in the photograph
He's gone away"
Rest in peace, young dragon.
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