Tom Hardman, an allrounder with Leeds/Bradford MCCU, has died aged 21. Hardman, who had been part of Lancashire's academy and played second-XI cricket for the county, was found dead at his house in Leeds on Wednesday afternoon. His death is not being treated as suspicious by police.
Hardman played in two first-class matches, against Surrey and Yorkshire last season, and had been named as Leeds/Bradford MCCU captain for 2013. He had been studying for a sports science degree at Leeds Metropolitan University.
Former England Test cricketer and MCCU combined head coach, Clive Radley, said: "Tom was one of the nicest characters you could ever wish to meet. He was a good all-round cricketer, who always strived to play his best - a real hard-worker, and a lovely bloke to have around the dressing room. His leadership qualities were such that I had already earmarked him for the captaincy of the MCCU combined side in the ECB Second XI Championship next season. This is such a sad loss."
Hardman, who would have turned 22 on Monday, had overcome a back injury that left him in a brace for three months in 2010, after which he was recruited by Lancashire. In 2012 he played four matches for MCCU in the Second XI Championship.
A Lancashire spokesman said: "Lancashire County Cricket Club is shocked and saddened to hear about the death of our former academy player Tom Hardman. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this sad time."
John Stephenson, MCC's head of cricket, added: "I am deeply saddened to hear this news. Tom was thriving on the MCC Universities scheme, and we had heard very encouraging reports about him as a player and potential leader. MCC's thoughts go out to Tom's family and friends, along with Leeds/Bradford MCCU head coach Andrew Lawson and all Tom's team-mates."