A young cricketer tipped for a bright international future with England was killed today after trying to evade police by crossing a London Underground line. The body of Tom Maynard, 23, was found on the tracks near Wimbledon Park Station in the southwest of the capital and pronounced dead at the scene at 5am.
Maynard, who had played a county match for Surrey just hours earlier, was stopped by police after a black Mercedes was spotted being driven “erratically” shortly after 4am. After the car was flagged down, the driver ran off and less than an hour later a body was discovered on the District Line tracks. Maynard is believed to have died either after being electrocuted or hit by a train.
His death was mourned throughout the game with tributes from Michael Vaughan, former captain of England, accompanied by those from current players, including his Surrey team-mate Kevin Pietersen, and even the coach of Australia, Mickey Arthur. Arthur said: “He was certainly flamboyant, had a lot of potential and a lot of talent. Who knows where he would have ended up?”
Vaughan wrote on Twitter: "Someone with so much talent and so much to look forward to. Why is life so cruel sometimes?"
Last week Maynard, son of the former England and Glamorgan player Matthew, was disciplined by Surrey for staying out late at night during a County Championship match against Sussex in Horsham. Yesterday evening he played a Twenty20 match for Surrey against Kent in Beckenham.
Maynard never played for England but earlier this year toured Bangladesh and Sri Lanka with England Lions, the feeder side for the national team. He was a hard-hitting batsman who joined Surrey last year having begun his career with his father’s county. Hugh Morris, England’s managing director and a former team-mate of his Matthew’s, said: “In many respects he played just like his old man did. Matthew played for England and Tom was very much on that pathway. He played for the Lions last winter and impressed all the coaches there.”
Surrey chairman Richard Thompson said: "Tom Maynard was a prodigiously talented young batsman who had made an incredible start to his career and was clearly destined for far greater things. The impact Tom made in such a short period of time for Surrey CCC spoke for itself. There is a profound sense of loss at the passing of Tom. To lose anybody at such a young age is an utterly senseless tragedy."
Surrey’s next match on Wednesday has been postponed, while a minute’s silence is being considered today ahead of England’s one-day international against West Indies at the Oval, Surrey’s ground. Jade Dernbach, a Surrey player and friend of Maynard’s, is likely to be excused England duty on compassionate grounds.
The case, as is routine, has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: “At approx 4.15am on Monday, 18 June, officers stopped a vehicle after it was seen being driven erratically in Arthur Road, SW19. The male driver of the vehicle - a black Mercedes C250 - made off on foot. Officers were unable to locate the man. At approx 5.10am the body of a man fitting the same description was found on tracks near Wimbledon Park station.”
British Transport Police confirmed the body of a 23-year-old man had been found. A spokesperson said: “"BTP officers were called to the line near Wimbledon Park London Underground station after a man was struck by a District line train. The incident was reported to BTP at 5.03am and was also attended by Metropolitan Police officers. London Ambulance Service medics attended but the man was pronounced dead at the scene. The incident is currently being treated as non-suspicious."