County - Dernbach calls for more drug tests in cricket

England bowler Jade Dernbach believes more stringent drug testing could help prevent another tragedy like the one which befell his good friend Tom Maynard.

PA Sport
County - Dernbach calls for more drug tests in cricket

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An inquest found Tom Maynard had taken cocaine and ecstasy before he was killed

Surrey batsman Maynard died last summer at the age of 23 when he was electrocuted on a railway line while apparently attempting to evade police who suspected he was driving under the influence of alcohol. Tests subsequently showed Maynard was a regular user of recreational drugs, something of which even his closest friends were unaware.

It has led to the authorities vowing to increase their testing with the Professional Cricketers' Association suggesting new measures could even come in this season. "I'd welcome a lot more drug testing," Dernbach told the Mail on Sunday.

"If we can avoid this circumstance ever happening again then it will benefit everyone. Whether it be hair testing or more frequent testing, I think all professional sportsmen would welcome that into our game.

"It's important that lessons are learned from what happened to Tommy. It's important that clubs pay attention to the more personal side of players, not just as professionals but as human beings - understanding what everyone is going through. If that's the one lesson to come out, it is probably awareness."

Dernbach, 27, was out with Maynard the night of his death and was one of his closest friends.

"I ask myself if I should have spotted something," said Dernbach. "Should I have seen the signs that Tommy was taking drugs? But in a professional environment you just don't think that sort of thing happens.

"Just because someone is a different character, do you have to say, 'You're a bit extrovert, do you take drugs?' Where do you draw the line?

"People say, 'Why didn't you know?' I understand that but hundreds of people came in contact with Tommy over his life and nobody knew. I don't know enough about drugs to understand what the signs are. If nobody else had an idea, why should I have done?

"I'd stood next to Tom and seen him do a drug test. It never entered my mind that he was taking anything."

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