Vaughan hopes all county players remain clean after witnessing the consequences of drug abuse
Former England captain Michael Vaughan has announced that all county players should have learnt some serious lessons from the tragic death of Surrey batsman Tom Maynard.
Vaughan welcomed the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) announcement of increasing the number of drug tests done during the season and off the field as well.
Vaughan also hopes that Maynard’s death will “frighten” other county players who even consider using recreational drugs.
During an inquest into Maynard’s death, it was revealed that the Surrey batsman had been three times over the legal alcohol limit and had been a habitual cocaine and ecstasy user for a few months prior to his death.
Maynard was found dead near Wimbledon Park tube station an hour after fleeing from authorities, who stopped him for “driving erratically” in the early hours of June 18 2012.
The coroner at the inquest stated that it was impossible to tell whether Maynard had been killed by electrocution after falling on the tracks, or whether the impact of the train hitting his body has resulted in his death.
“There will be players in cricket who have taken recreational drugs and are still doing it, but I hope Tom Maynard’s tragic story will make them stop,” Vaughan wrote in his column for the Daily Telegraph. “There are around 400 professional cricketers in England and it would be naive to think Tom’s is an isolated case. There are bound to be more who have taken drugs in the past or are still doing it now.
“The England and Wales Cricket Board is going to introduce more testing for recreational drugs and that will frighten a few into cleaning up their acts.”
Maynard’s death has been tough on the entire Surrey squad, especially captain Rory Hamilton-Brown, who was Maynard’s flatmate.
Hamilton-Brown was distraught after the death of his best friend and wasted no time in stepping down as captain at the end of last season before joining Sussex.
In an attempt to make up for their losses, Surrey signed South Africa captain Graeme Smith to a three-year deal and have even recruited the services of former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting for June and July this year.
Vaughan noted that the addition of two veterans would be extremely beneficial for all the younger players in the Surrey squad.
“There was a lack of those players at Surrey 12 months ago but next summer they will have Graeme Smith and Ricky Ponting,” Vaughan wrote. “Two men who are exactly the right kind of role models for young kids making their way in cricket.”
England batsman Ian Bell also voiced his support for the increased frequency of drug testing, and told the BBC: “Other sports are doing it. It’s important what has happened doesn’t happen again.”