A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: Tom Maynard under influence of alcohol and drugs prior to time of death

Maynard was three times over the legal limit and had been a habitual drug user

Former Surrey batsman Tom Maynard, who tragically passed away in an incident on the London Underground last year, was found to have been under the influence of alcohol and illegal drugs at the time of his death, an inquest heard.

Maynard, who was 23, was found dead on the tracks near Wimbledon Park tube station in the early hours of June 18.

The batsman was pulled over by an unmarked police car for “driving erratically” but chose to flee the scene instead of pulling over, ditching his black Mercedes in an attempt to escape.

The inquest was told by forensic pathologist Simon Poole that at the time of his death, Maynard was three times over the legal alcohol limit and tests on his hair revealed “consistent with regular or habitual use” of cocaine and MDMA, which is more commonly known as ecstasy.

In an attempt to ensure that a similar case like this never happens again, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have announced that they are working together with the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) to help stamp out the use of recreational drugs amongst county players.

As of right now, recreational drug tests are only done during the season in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Agency, but both the ECB and PCA are discussing a plan to test players during their time off the field as well.

“In the light of today’s verdict, ECB and Surrey CCC would like to reiterate that this incident was a terrible human tragedy and again extend our condolences to the Maynard family and to Tom Maynard’s many friends and colleagues within the professional game,” a statement released by the ECB said. “While the ECB accepts that recreational drug use is a part of modern society, we do not condone it and will take all reasonable steps to prevent its use within the game. We also believe we have a responsibility to educate all our players and are committed to supporting any player who needs help in this area.”

Summing up the case, the coroner, Dr Fiona Wilcox, stated that Maynard’s death had been “absolutely tragic” and urged Surrey and the rest of the English counties to enforce mandatory drug tests on and off the field immediately.

On the night of his death, Maynard was with team-mates Jade Dernbach and Rory Hamilton-Brown before deciding to go and visit his girlfriend, upon where he was stopped at 4am.

He managed to escape from the police, but was found dead on the tracks an hour later.

Dr Poole noted that it was impossible to tell whether Maynard had been killed by being electrocuted on the tracks or whether his death had been caused by the impact of the train hitting him.

Martin Hopping, who was driving the train that hit Maynard, told the inquest that he had definitely seen a body on the tracks, which was “not fallen but laid down”, but he could not stop in time.

England pace bowler Dernbach gave evidence at the inquest and told them that he had never been aware of Maynard’s habitual drug problem.

The same comment was given by Maynard’s girlfriend, Carly Baker.

Baker was also heard saying the word “disgrace” numerous times throughout the hearing and each time it was aimed at the police officers present.

Despite Baker saying that Maynard had sounded “very down, very depressed” when he called her that night, Dernbach assured the court that his team-mate had been in good spirits.

“He was his normal bubbly self,” Dernbach said.

However, both Dernbach and Hamilton-Brown admitted that Maynard was still infuriated about an incident that occurred 10 days ago in Brighton, where he was hit by a car after spending a night out in the town, which resulted in him damaging his shoulder and sustaining a black eye.

Surrey confirmed that they had disciplined Maynard over the incident.

Maynard’s father, Matthew, who represented England, issued a statement through the PCA, which said: “The results of the inquest do not define our son. The fact that so very many people thought the world of him is what defines him as a person. The only people who would judge Tom on the findings of the inquest are people who didn’t know him. He made choices that night that tragically cost him his life but his devastated family and friends will love and miss him unconditionally always. He was a very special person and his death leaves a huge hole in all our lives.”

Hamilton-Brown, who had also been Maynard’s flatmate, Dernbach and Baker were all struggling to fight back tears as the verdict on their friend’s death was delivered.

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