County news July 3, 2012

Hamilton-Brown takes indefinite leave

Surrey's captain, Rory Hamilton-Brown has taken indefinite compassionate leave and stepped down temporarily as Surrey captain following the death of his team mate Tom Maynard last month in an accident on the London underground.

Hamilton-Brown has been deeply affected by the death of Maynard, who he shared a house with and who had been a close friend since their days at Millfield School. He tried to return for Surrey's Friends Life t20 match against Hampshire at West End on Sunday but found the experience too much to bear.

He said: "I have decided to take a break from cricket. I am grateful to the club for their support and understanding of my decision and I look forward to returning to the game where I will hope to contribute and take forward my form of recent seasons."

The death of Maynard, whose funeral is on Wednesday, has caused considerable grief as well as some reflection among the Surrey squad. He had been with some Surrey team mates shortly before he was stopped by police shortly before dawn in Wimbledon for "driving erratically" whereupon he fled the scene. He died from electrocution on he District Line less than an hour later.

Richard Gould, Surrey's chief executive, stated: "Tom's death has affected many people, and he and Rory were great friends. Rory now needs some time out, and the club is keen to provide whatever support we can.

"Rory has performed very well both as captain and as one of our leading players over the last three years, and we look forward to him returning when the time is right. The club would also like to express its appreciation for the support provided by the PCA over the last two weeks."

Hamilton-Brown will be replaced as captain by Gareth Batty, who has led the side in recent Friends Life t20 matches. Batty faces a challenging task in holding together the season for a young Surrey squad which, particularly in the case of Hamilton-Brown, has found a return to cricket hard to bear.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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