Tom Maynard, who has died at 23 years of age, was a dashing strokemaker at ease in all three formats of the game with a glittering future ahead of him. That is now gone and when the shock wears off (and your writer is as shocked by this news as any he can recall), those of us who saw Maynard at his best will treasure the memories.
His very first match for Glamorgan was sufficient to confirm and dispel two notions about the young man: his 71 off 75 balls confirmed that he had inherited his father Matthew’s prodigious hitting ability and dispelled any thoughts that he would be known as “Matthew’s son” for long – we’d be talking about Tom Maynard from the off.
Having left the pressure-cooker atmosphere of Welsh cricket in 2010 shortly after his father’s acrimonious split with Glamorgan, Tom joined a Surrey team beginning to realise their potential. He was soon standing up straight at the crease to hit the ball hard in the V or pull and cut with equal facility square of the wicket. He was a fine athlete and used his physical presence to get on top of bowlers and give them no hiding place. He never quite scored the daddy hundreds one might have expected from a man with his gifts, but, at just 23, they were surely just over the horizon. He was at the heart of a Surrey squad that had won their first trophy for years with the CB40 in 2011 and which had gained promotion to the LVCC Divison One in an extraordinary run for the line, during which his century to set up a win vs Derbyshire was a typically robust contribution.
Batting like that caught the eye of the England selectors and he wintered with the Performance Squad, before starting a season in which Surrey had high hopes of a young team in which Tom, joshing with Stuart Meaker and Jason Roy on Sky’s Cricket AM just 48 hours ago (pictured, centre), seemed to fit perfectly. That his is a talent now forever unfulfilled, is a cricketing tragedy of the highest order; that Tom’s is a life unfulfilled, is a human tragedy of the highest order.
(The exact circumstances of Tom’s death are unclear at the time of writing and may not be clear until the coroner reports. It is, however, clear that there are no suspicious circumstances. Article amended 2.00pm June 18).