I'M sure you can forgive me if I don’t include any cricketing updates this week due to the tragic events that took place last Monday morning.
People always say that you never forget where you were and what you were doing when you hear tragic news.
I certainly won’t forget, sat in my house preparing a video for a T20 game later that week. I’ll never forget the words my father said to me on the phone that morning, an indescribable shiver shot through my body and tears immediately filled my eyes.
The tears stayed in my eyes then but they now fall down my cheeks as I try to complete this tribute to Tom Maynard.
My immediate thoughts went out to the family, dad Matthew, mum Sue and his sister Ceri.
I have a huge amount of respect for the Maynard family. Matthew awarded me my Glamorgan debut as a 17-year-old boy and backed me to succeed ahead of more able options. It was a special moment and something I will never forget.
I can’t begin to imagine how they must have felt on that Monday morning and the days that have passed since. Yes, they will grieve for a long time yet, but they should also be awfully proud of the boy they brought into this world.
I remember the first time I set eyes on Tom, a very young boy full of confidence and never shy in coming forward to air his opinion about a piece of equipment or why I was bowling so badly!
Matthew used to bring him into the Glamorgan changing room regularly when we played at the old Sophia Gardens.
You could immediately see the strength of the bond they shared and how much Tom wanted to grow up and emulate his father in every way.
You always had the feeling that Tom was going to go on and play for Glamorgan. It was his dream and I know it was a very proud moment for his father when he first pulled on that shirt with the daffodil on his chest.
As he grew into his Glamorgan career, myself and Dean Cosker tried to take him under our wing and look after him the best we could. The bond between the three of us became very strong and we experienced some great times together, most of which we remembered by texting each other on a daily basis.
It has been a horrific week for all the people who were close to Tom.
He was the most popular man I have ever known and I had never heard anyone say a bad word about him.
He had enormous talent on the cricket field and was destined for full England honours.
He was rumoured to be selected for an upcoming one day international, which would have made all his family and friends very proud.
There have been some fantastic tributes paid to Tom and I know how hard those individuals found it to write those articles.
I find it difficult to cope with the reality that I won’t see Tom again, especially when I see a picture or a video of him. I just find it so difficult to accept that he’s gone.
Seeing a collection of pictures and a book of condolence at the Swalec Stadium on Tuesday upset me and reinforced the fact that I can never share a joke or text message with him again.
I was proud to call Tom a good friend and I will miss him dearly for the rest of my life.
My last ever first class wicket was: ‘c Maynard b Harrison’ and I will never forget him.
l Tom’s funeral will be held on Wednesday, July 4 at Llandaff Cathedral, 12pm with a service at Thornhill Crematorium at 1.15pm.
There will then be a gathering at Pentrych Rugby Club where people are being encouraged by the Maynard family to bring their own personal photos of Tom, in order to compile a montage.
Members of the public are welcome.