Rory Hamilton-Brown: Maynard's death affected my love of cricket

Rory Hamilton-Brown
Hamilton's last professional appearance for Sussex came in June 2014

Recently retired Sussex batsman Rory Hamilton-Brown says his passion for cricket dwindled following the death of former Surrey team-mate Tom Maynard.

Maynard died in summer 2012 after being struck by a London Underground train.

Hamilton-Brown, who left Surrey later that year to re-join Sussex, has been forced to quit playing after failing to recover from a wrist injury.

"I never enjoyed my cricket to the same level after Tommy passed away," the 27-year-old told BBC Sussex.

Hamilton-Brown was captain of Surrey at the time of Maynard's death and, following a spell of compassionate leave, resigned as skipper in August 2012.

After his move to Hove he said the passing of his close friend and then-flatmate was a reason for his move to Sussex.

Tom Maynard and Rory Hamilton-Brown
Hamilton-Brown says a large factor in his decision to re-join Sussex in 2012 was that "there were many memories" of former team-mate Tom Maynard (left) at Surrey

"I wouldn't like to say that Tom's death affected my career negatively because I don't think that's fair," added Hamilton-Brown.

"I suppose a lot of people go through adversity and come out stronger. I found it difficult to rediscover the love for the game."

Hamilton-Brown played seven County Championship games and nine T20 Blast matches for Sussex last season, but did not feature after June because of injury.

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Hamilton-Brown on forced retirement

He was forced to have two operations on his wrist and says that injury forced him to announce his retirement.

"The first decision as being a professional sportsman is: can my body enable me to achieve the levels that I have to achieve to have a career?" he said.

"My wrist got to the stage where it said no - that was it and that was as clear as the decision was.

"I didn't enjoy my career as much but I am not going to say Tom is a reason for retiring.

"I don't think that is fair to him. The reason I am retiring is because I have got a bad wrist."

Hamilton-Brown's career in numbers
Scored 3,841 first-class runs in 73 matches at an average of 32.55 with a highest score of 171 not out
Struck eight first-class centuries and 18 fifties
Played 93 Twenty20 games scoring 1,536 runs at an average of 18.28 with four fifties
Honours: Twenty20 Cup (Sussex 2009), Pro40 Division One (Sussex 2008, 2009), CB40 (Surrey 2011)

Hamilton-Brown does not expect to return to cricket following his 10-year professional career, with the former England Under-19 international now aiming to build a business career in London.

"I'm sure I'll miss it and when the first Championship game starts and I'm sitting behind my desk that there will be a bit of sadness," he said.

"I have got to move on and I always wanted to move into the world of business.

"It was always something that was going to happen, whether I was 27 or 37. I'll always have a place close to my heart for cricket but it is the end of a chapter for me.

"I won't dwell on it too much but I will think of it fondly and enjoy going to watch Sussex and Surrey."

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