Tom Maynard looked like he was scientifically designed to play cricket. Tall, coordinated, athletic and when you watched him play it was if he wasn’t the son of a former cricketer, but that his father’s memories had been transplanted into his body.
At Surrey, Jason Roy bangs it, Ramps is class, and RHB runs around like a evil prince from a Disney film. Yet, I can’t remember being at a Surrey game and people not stopping mid conversation to comment about Maynard’s batting.
With Runako Morton I’ll always remember the crazy backlift. For Maynard, it’s just how much he looked like he belonged out on a field.
Not everyone had seen Maynard, and at cricket functions in the future those who have will tell those the others what a special talent he was.
For PK Dharma, the Tamil Nadu all rounder, it seems even fewer have seen him. There was no massive outpour from twitter by Indian players. His father was not known in the industry, and with only two list a games to his name, he hadn’t given himself much time to be appreciated.
Cricinfo says he was a right arm medium bowler. And that is all his page will ever say.
I’ll never know if he bowled off cutters, mixed up his pace, swung it, or even on quicker pitches liked to bounce people.
Before he took his own life I never knew PK Dharma existed. And had he not, I might never have.
It’s sort of stupid even writing this post, if it weren’t for the fact that these were cricketers that died, I wouldn’t be typing now. But the truth is that because of cricket I do care about these two men. I can’t stop that.
When I was young, one of my father’s team mates died. I think he’d retired by then, or was close to it. I remember being at his wake held at the cricket club, and every single story I heard was about his exploits on the cricket field. This was a man who just played for fun on the weekend, nothing more. He had a full life outside the game. Yet he was a cricketer, and that’s what people talked about that day. I learnt more about cricket that day than I had in the four years before that. Some of it was coaching, I think the old guys wanted to take their mind off their friends death. But mostly it was that really meant something.
Back then, I didn’t know what it was. But I felt like I was part of it.
Tom Maynard’s batting memories will remain with me forever and PK Dharma will always be someone I wish I could have known more about. Regardless, these are young men who died too soon.