A star Welsh cricketer who was killed by a train in London impressed all who met him during his time playing in Perth's WACA competition, a local stalwart said yesterday.
Gosnells cricket club president Ross Leipold said he was distressed by the death of 23-year-old Tom Maynard, who played in Perth in 2008-09 and 2009-10 as he honed the skills that led to him compete for selection in England's national team.
Mr Maynard died on Monday after he tried to cross a high-voltage rail line before being struck by a train near the Wimbledon Park underground station.
Police said a man fitting the cricketer's description was seen by officers driving erratically before he abandoned his car and fled on foot near Wimbledon station shortly before the fatal accident.
Mr Leipold said Mr Maynard was a "shining light" on and off the field during his one season with the club.
The young batsman moved to Claremont-Nedlands for his second season.
Mr Leipold said he was a friend of Mr Maynard's father Matthew, who played Test cricket for England and also spent a season with Gosnells in the late 1980s.
Mr Maynard's wife had been pregnant with Tom at that time.
"He was just a great young fellow and fitted into our group of players really easily," Mr Leipold said. "Some players come over from England and just don't quite settle in or get on with the boys but he was just fantastic.
"He had huge talent and was always set to do big things with his cricket. It's an absolute tragedy."
The pinnacle of the Surrey batsman's career was representing the English Lions - a side used by England to groom possible future international players.
Surrey teammate Kevin Pietersen was among England players who posted their condolences on Twitter.
"So unbelievably sad! The Maynard family is so special! Thoughts are with this special family! Loads of love guys! KP xxx £RIPTom."
Maynard's girlfriend, underwear model Carly Baker, 25, said on Twitter: "You're the most special man I have ever met. You made me the happiest girl. I love you always X."
Australia coach Mickey Arthur, who knows Matthew Maynard from the time he spent in Arthur's native South Africa, spoke of his shock after the squad's arrival in Leicester ahead of a one-day series against England."It's a tragedy to lose such a talented player," he said. "He was certainly flamboyant, had a lot of potential and talent."
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