I’d got about half way through the lighthearted piece about a frivolous subject I’d originally intended to write. But as the day wore on, and the news about Tom Maynard sunk in, I gave up. To do otherwise just seemed completely ridiculous.
The true magnitude of genuine tragedies takes time to fully perceive. Beneath a shocking and lurid headline lie the interconnected lives of real people.
I’m going to try to choose my words carefully here. I knew little about Tom Maynard, and there are people far better placed than me to pay fitting tribute to him. No one among those close to him have ever heard of me, so I’d rather not offer up some tepid platitudes which will sound like vicarious grief.
But Maynard’s friends and family are cricket people, and so are we. Enough said.
Perhaps like you, I was previously more conscious of Tom’s father, Matthew, than Tom himself. The loss of one’s child is a very singular experience – you can fill in the rest.
Isn’t it interesting – if only vaguely relevant – how sports come together when a tragedy occurs. Everyone feels a part of it, a connection to it, whether or not you actually know the people involved.
It’s not just cricket – football or rugby are the same. The things you share in sport – the culture, the ethos, the sense of community – create very far reaching bonds. It’s hard to think of another civilian walk of life in which someone’s death has such a widespread impact.
Sadly, none of that is any consolation for Tom Maynard’s friends and family. They just want him back.