LONDON: Apr 4, 2013
Rory Hamilton-Brown believes he should not have returned to the game so soon following the death of his team-mate and friend Tom Maynard, questioning the support structure at his former club after the tragedy.
“I had a first real setback, a real life experience that I didn’t know how to deal with,” he was quoted as saying in an interview with Britain’s domestic Press Association news agency, published on Thursday.
“There was no way I should have been on a cricket field but I wanted to try it and see what I can do.”
Surrey batsman Maynard, 23, was tipped as one of English cricket’s rising stars but was electrocuted on a railway line and struck by a train as he attempted to flee police while on drink and drugs in June last year.
A coroner in February recorded a verdict of accidental death on the sportsman.
The England and Wales Cricket Board then pledged to take “all reasonable steps” to prevent recreational drug use by players, including out-of-competition testing, while Surrey said it, too, had introduced an anti-drugs policy.
But Hamilton-Brown, who shared a flat with Maynard, said he was disappointed to have been repeatedly brought back into the Surrey side then dropped after the tragedy, although he reflected that he should not have been playing.
“Mentally I had a lot going on and I was not able to get myself in the place I was before the tragic incident,” said the 25-year-old former Surrey captain, adding that he eventually concluded that the only way of coping was to start afresh.
He has now rejoined Sussex, where he played for two years between 2007 and 2009.
“I needed to play in a place where I felt like people cared about you and they wanted you around, and ultimately I think that kind of care and love when you go through tough times brings the best out of you,” he said.
“It’s easy when you go through a time like that to feel quite isolated and alone.”
England batsman Rory Hamilton-Brown hits a shot during the Hong Kong cricket sixes on October 30, 2011