A week ago I wrote how fans develop strangely meaningful relationships with players. Tom Maynard's death, at 23 years old, brought that home horribly.
It has forced perspective on a community - sports lovers – who often lack it. For his close friends and family, losing Maynard must be a deep, personal tragedy and incomparable to what those on the outside will feel. Foremost, it is desperately sad that a man has died so young.
Yet even when confronted by cricket's ultimate worthlessness, it is still cricket that makes Maynard's death matter for many. The majority of people know Maynard only by his cricketing personality. And his was magnetic.
He had glittering talent, a spark of cockiness and a future wide open. It's sad that someone bursting with potential will never get a chance to realise it fully. It doesn't make his untimely death any more or less of a tragedy than anyone else’s, but it does make the cricketing family mourn a stolen future.
I remember watching him against Sussex a few weeks ago, trying to pull Surrey out of a first-innings muddle by nonchalantly advancing down the crease at 90mph James Anyon. It was typical of him.
Maynard was the sort of cricketer that made you want to watch the game because you could never play it as easily as he could. I'll miss him because of that.
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