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Cricketer’s death a lesson for drug users

LONDON — Former England captain Michael Vaughan hopes the death of Surrey batsman Tom Maynard will “frighten” other cricketers still using recreational drugs.

A coroner’s inquest in central London was told on Monday that Maynard was nearly four times above the legal alcohol limit for driving and had taken cocaine and ecstasy before he was electrocuted and hit by a train in June last year.

The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death on the promising cricketer, whose father was former England batsman Matthew Maynard.

The England and Wales Cricket Board responded by announcing increased testing for recreational, as well as performance-enhancing, drugs.

Vaughan said: “There will be players in cricket who have taken recreational drugs and are still doing it, but I hope Tom Maynard’s tragic story will make them stop.

Incident not isolated

“There are around 400 professional cricketers in England and it would be naive to think Tom’s is an isolated case. There are bound to be more who have taken drugs in the past or are still doing it now.

“The England and Wales Cricket Board is going to introduce more testing for recreational drugs and that will frighten a few into cleaning up their acts.”

Current England batsman Ian Bell also backed the use of increased testing.

“Other sports are doing it. It’s important what has happened doesn’t happen again.”

Jamaicans Richard Austin and Herbert Chang and Barbados’ David Murray are among the documented cases of West Indian cricketers who have fallen prey to drug use during and after their playing careers. (Telegraph/WG)

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