Tom Maynard’s death leaves England in sombre mood at The Oval
Today’s second NatWest Series match at The Oval will take place in sombre circumstances, following the death of Surrey batsman Tom Maynard.
England’s players learned of Maynard’s death at the age of just 23 when coach Andy Flower gathered them together to break the news yesterday morning.
Maynard was one of the most promising and exciting of a new generation of talent at The Oval, following his arrival from his native Glamorgan last year.
It is anticipated England will wear black armbands – and a minute’s silence will take place, before the start of the match against West Indies.
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Maynard’s Surrey team-mate and good friend Jade Dernbach will almost certainly miss the fixture on compassionate grounds – and England have called-up Warwickshire seamer Chris Woakes in his place.
England, who lead 1-0 with two to play, have the opportunity to clinch the series and try to somehow lift inevitable low spirits at Maynard’s home ground.
Injury-hit West Indies, meanwhile, face a difficult task to battle back.
It was confirmed yesterday that Chris Gayle, a shock absentee two days ago with a previously unreported shin injury from what would have been his first match of the tour, is to have a scan on his leg.
Without the destructive opener, West Indies’ chances of levelling the series will be significantly compromised.
They may also be missing pace-bowling all-rounder Andre Russell, another having a scan on an injury suffered in the West Indies’ defeat at the Ageas Bowl.
Darren Bravo was in the wars on the south coast too, and the groin injury he suffered there – which forced him off the field and then prevented him batting in his usual position up the order – has spelled the end of his disappointing tour.