Matthew Hobden was highly regarded and tipped to push for England honours © Getty Images
The family of Matthew Hobden, the Sussex pace bowler, have said he died while celebrating New Year with friends in Scotland.
His body was discovered by Police Scotland on Saturday at a property in Forres near Inverness. An investigation into his death is continuing but the police have said there are not thought to be any suspicious circumstances.
The police will submit a report to the prosecutor fiscal who will decide if an inquiry into the death is required.
Hobden, 22, made 18 first-class appearances for Sussex and was due to be part of the Potential England Performance Programme (PEPP) on a trip to South Africa where he would have bowled at the senior England team during their preparation for the ODI series against South Africa.
In a statement released through Police Scotland, his family said: “We are deeply saddened by the sudden death of Matthew who had been celebrating the New Year with friends in the Forres area.
“We now ask that we are left alone to deal with the tragic circumstances that have unfolded and are allowed to grieve in private at this difficult time.”
Kevin Shine, the ECB’s lead fast bowling coach, said he had seen enough of Hobden during his time around the PEPP to say he would be an England bowler of the future.
“As a player, I remember the first time I saw him just thinking ‘wow’. He was the strongest, most powerful cricketer I’ve ever seen on that programme – up there with elite athletes from different sports. His potential was huge, he was improving rapidly and I’m certain that he would have played for England.
“But for all that, my over-riding memory of Matt will be of his character, he was a wonderful lad. It’s devastating for all who knew him to have lost him so young.”
England’s players wore black armbands on the second day of the Newlands Test while in the Big Bash, where Sussex captain Luke Wright is playing for Melbourne Stars, his side and Hobart Hurricanes wore black armbands in Wednesday’s match.
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo