Monday, 18 June 2012

for Tom Maynard

Today I had an appointment with a lawyer to talk, among other things, about wills and sorting out the future. Something she said a couple of times was along the lines of, "Well, you're quite young but you never know when something might happen". And that was when I started crying again because those words have hit home so hard today.

Unless you've been hiding from the internet, you'll have seen the news. Surrey batsman Tom Maynard was killed early this morning in an accident on the Tube line. He was only 23. While there has been speculation about what went on, nobody will ever really know because nobody else was there. And, frankly, I don't care what happened. It won't make Tom's death any less of a tragedy. People who are willing to condemn a young man for a couple of acts of foolishness are beneath contempt. Tom was a bright young talent, a rising star for Surrey and - potentially - for England. He was also a really sweet guy, one of my Surrey boys who made going to the Oval such a thing of joy for me and MiniSurreyFan.

I spoke to Tom only last week, when MiniSurreyFan was the mascot for the t20. I saw him play yesterday against Kent. I wasn't even going to go to the game, but a good friend persuaded me to get out of the house and come. I'm so glad she did. Yesterday seems like a whole other world now.

I could write a tribute to Tom, look up all of his brilliant stats, find some quotes about him. But other people have done that already and far more coherently than I'll be able to manage through my tears. All I can say is that my heart goes out to his family - both his relatives and the Surrey squad.

And I'll miss you, Tom. I'll miss you. I want to say more, but I can't.

Fielding close up at Whitgift. LV v Essex 19th May 2011

Batting at Whitgift. LV v Essex 19th May 2011

Fielding on the boundary. t20 v Gloucs 2nd June 2011 

Batting at Whitgift. t20 v Sussex 4th July 2011
Quick snap with MiniSurreyFan after the game. Whitgift t20 v Sussex 4th July 2011
Warming up in the nets with the boys. t20 v Hants 8th July 2011
Surrey v Shahid Afrid t20 v Hants 8th July 2011. Maynard off strike...
...and on!

In the slips with Captain Rory Hamilton-Brown and Gareth Batty. LV v Kent 11th July 2011
Chatting with the team coming off the field. LV v Kent 11th July 2011

Batting in the freezing cold. LV v Sussex 5th April 2012. Sadly the only photo I have of him from this season. 

The Surrey flag at half mast above the Oval. Goodbye, Tom. xx

Tom Maynard: 25/3/1989 - 18/6/2012

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Your team sucks, so there!

As I write this, Surrey are staring down the barrel of "if we don't sort our batting out, we're looking at relegation". Out of 8 first-class matches this year, we have only won one - the first of the season, in fact, when it was so incredibly cold I'm surprised the fielders weren't wearing parkas and mittens. Of the remaining seven games, we have lost three, drawn three and had one abandoned due to the rain not even stopping long enough to have the toss. As Sod's Law would have it, we may well have been able to win that game, looking at how Durham have been struggling this season.

I touched on one of the losses a while back and I said then that Middlesex didn't win that game, Surrey lost it. My opinion on that hasn't changed. Surrey are suffering what England did during the winter. They have a lot of talented individuals and a huge amount of potential but they are not putting those things together into a working team unit. They still do not have a batting order which makes them happy - or which scores runs. They have failed to get a decent total in any first innings so far, so even when the batting does come together it's not gaining any points. And, though I hate to say it, we were lucky with a couple of the draws. There were times when winning them was in our grasp, but there were also times when a loss looked pretty possible too. I'd say we're about even in the "what could have been" stakes, to be honest.