Tributes as top student cricketer found dead

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GLOWING tributes have been paid to a promising cricket player who died suddenly at home in Yorkshire.

Tom Hardman, who was studying sports and exercise science at Leeds Metropolitan University, was found dead at the house he shared with fellow students in Ash Road, Headingley, on Wednesday afternoon, after he failed to turn up for cricket practice.

The MCC said the 21-year-old, had recently been appointed as the MCC’s Leeds/Bradford universities team captain for the 2013 season.

Former England Test cricketer and MCC Universities head coach Clive Radley led the tributes.

He said: “Tom was one of the nicest characters you could ever wish to meet.

“He was a good all-round cricketer, who always strived to play his best – a real hard-worker and a lovely bloke to have around the dressing room.

“His leadership qualities were such that I had already earmarked him for the captaincy of the MCCU combined side in the ECB second eleven championship 
next season. This is such a sad loss.”

Hardman’s death is not being treated as suspicious, but has been described by police as “unexplained”. A post-mortem examination has yet to take place.

Yorkshire Cricket Club captain Andrew Gale tweeted: “Awful news about young cricketer Tom Hardman. Played against him last year. Thoughts to his family and friends.”

Lancashire player Karl Brown tweeted: “Gutted to hear the news of Tom Hardman. What a nice lad too.”

Hardman was originally from Heywood in Lancashire and starred for the Lancashire second team and Middleton Cricket Club.

Middleton captain Steve Davey said: “I have heard from lots of people who said he was the nicest guy they’d ever met.”

Prof Sally Glen, a deputy vice chancellor at the university, said: “He was a promising cricketer and was one of the most popular students on his course.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very difficult time.”