POLICE IN MORAY have said that there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of a young England international cricketer who was found dead at a property near Forres on Saturday.
England players wore black armbands in tribute to Matthew Hobden, 22, a Sussex cricketer who was due to join the England squad in South Africa later this month.
The death of Mr Hobden, who is believed to have been seeing in the New Year in Scotland, is being investigated as Police Scotland say it remains “unexplained”.
A Police Scotland statement said: “The death of a male, who is believed to be from the Sussex area, is currently being treated as unexplained.
“Enquiries are at a very early stage but there are not thought to be any suspicious circumstances. A report will be sent to the procurator fiscal as is usual procedure.”
Mr Hobden was one of six pace bowlers chosen to be in the Potential England Performance Programme, a group of bowlers who would spend time in Johannesburg alongside the senior England side for the one-day international series against South Africa.
The young star had played first-class and limited overs cricket for Sussex over the last two years, his reputation growing in the game with a promising career beckoning. In a statement his club said: “Sussex Cricket is deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Matthew Hobden.
“Matthew was an exciting young cricketer with a big future ahead of him in the game. He was a fantastic individual who had progressed through Sussex’s youth and academy ranks, having been born locally in Eastbourne.
“He made his first-class debut for Sussex in 2014 and had represented the county across all three formats over the past two seasons. He will be greatly missed. Sussex would like to offer their deepest condolences to Matthew’s family and friends at this difficult time.
“Players and staff will be offered as much support as is possible and we would like both Matthew’s family, and everyone connected with Sussex Cricket, to be respected with privacy at this time.”
Ahead of the second day of the second test in South Africa at the weekend a statement was posted on behalf of the England team which said: “We are shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Matthew Hobden. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and team-mates.
“The England players will wear black armbands during today’s play in memory of Matthew.”