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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  • I on July 4, 2012, 1:20 GMT

    Sad news, but it is to be expected that Maynard's death would have a ripple effect at Surrey. If returning to cricket is ultimately what is best for RHB, then let's hope he'll be back soon.

  • Michael on July 3, 2012, 20:36 GMT

    It's one of the better features of the modern age that events such as these can be accomodated for compassionately in people's lives. People do not have to bear misery and such with so much stoic self denial as they used to.Hope he gets over the worst in good order and returns to give the ball hell again.

  • John on July 3, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    What a shame for Surrey and for RHB himself. We are all affected in different ways by death. Some feel it is better to keep busy while others feel it's better get away from it all. All the best to him and all the friends and family who are still affected

  • stuart on July 3, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    It is such a shame that Surrey have lost 3 of their players over the years and all to sudden deaths.I hope he comes back to the captaincy but there are far more important things then just a game

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