County Cricket 2012 September 13, 2012

Hamilton-Brown set to leave Surrey

Rory Hamilton-Brown looks set to leave Surrey, with Somerset leading the list of counties hoping to attract him.

He remains under contract at The Oval, but has been given permission to talk to other counties after the club and the individual decided that a fresh start may be best for all parties.

A Surrey statement on Thursday evening said: "Surrey CCC can confirm they have received statements of interest from a number of counties with regards to the future of batsman Rory Hamilton-Brown."

Chris Adams, the Surrey team director, added: "Having had discussions with Rory, we have both agreed that he should be allowed permission to speak to other clubs so he can assess and consider the options for his future."

Hamilton-Brown, 25, relinquished the Surrey captaincy in August following a prolonged spell of compassionate leave as a result of the death of his close friend and team-mate Tom Maynard, who died in June in an incident on the railway near Wimbledon Park tube station.

Hamilton-Brown was also released mid-contract by Surrey in 2007 in order to allow him to move to Sussex. He returned to The Oval in 2010 when director of cricket, Chris Adams, appointed him as Surrey's youngest captain in more than a century.

While progress was not always smooth, Surrey won the CB40 competition and Championship promotion in 2011 and, with a squad boasting several highly talented young players, looked set for a period of sustained success. Then came the tragic incident in June that claimed the life of Maynard - a young batsman in whom club and country had high hopes - since which Hamilton-Brown has struggled to come to terms with his grief.

It is hoped that a fresh start at a calm, stable club, situated in a relatively tranquil town away from the distractions of London may help him rebuild his career and fulfil his undoubted potential.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo