Maynard death casts shadow over Oval

Kingston Guardian: Tom Maynard's death is overshadowing the England match being played at his home ground Tom Maynard's death is overshadowing the England match being played at his home ground

The Kia Oval is to host one of the most sombre cricket games in living memory as England take on the West Indies barely 24 hours after Surrey's rising star Tom Maynard was killed at the age of 23.

Maynard died on Monday at around 5am after being hit by a London Underground train at Wimbledon Park. It is thought that the Cardiff-born player, son of former England cricketer Matthew Maynard, may have been trying to avoid police at the time of his death.

The news caused shock throughout the cricket world. Hugh Morris, managing director of England cricket, said the country had seen one of its brightest prospects taken away before time.

"He had the world at his feet. I played with his old man when he played for England and Tom was very much on that pathway,'' he said. "In many ways he was very similar to Matthew. He was an incredibly talented cricketer.

"He played for the Lions in the winter. He impressed all the coaches there. They liked him as a person and as a player and to have his life cut short in this way is an absolute tragedy."

The shock was perhaps most profound at the Oval, where Surrey's bowlers were netting with England's players ahead of the second NatWest Series match against the West Indies.

Coach Andy Flower informed the England squad of Maynard's death at around 10am and Surrey seamer Jade Dernbach may miss the rest of the three-match series on compassionate grounds.

It is anticipated both teams will wear black armbands and a minute's silence will take place before the start of the match.

England, who lead 1-0 with two to play, have the opportunity to clinch the series but injury-hit West Indies face a difficult task to battle back.

Chris Gayle is still hoping to play on Wednesday, despite - like Andre Russell - missing practice on Monday. The result of the scan on Russell's shoulder problem, following a fall while batting on Saturday, is still awaited. Darren Bravo, who has flown home to Trinidad, faces further medical assessment there on an injury.

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