I only saw Tom Maynard bat once. It was the first game, the first day of this season, and he came in with Surrey in trouble, at 119-4, and as he batted six wickets fell around him. Nobody managed to maintain a partnership for long, and Maynard ended up not out with 86 as Surrey ended up all out for 264 in their first innings of the summer. Surrey won the match by 86 runs. He truly was a match-winner.
Since I wasn't at the Oval for the rest of the match, my foremost memory of Tom Maynard isn't that he helped win that match for Surrey. It's the sixteen fours he crunched in 101 balls. He played with such panache that day, I came home enthused with this young talent. I couldn't have imagined that little over two months later he would be dead.
At the game that day, I was sitting taking notes, meaning to write a blog post about the days cricket later. I never got round to it, but my notes are probably still lying around somewhere. They undoubtedly carry about a page's worth of writing on Maynard's cuts, cover drives, crunching pull shots that day. If I could find them I would write it here, knowing that was only a partial view of the man. I didn't know Tom Maynard, but I've felt genuinely sad today at his passing, based on some knowledge of him, and one great innings I saw him play. I guess everyone who knew him, ever saw him play, or even heard about him in passing as the next big prospect will see his death from a different persepctive. I just keep thinking about that great innings, and what could have been.