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.

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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