The family of Surrey county cricketer Tom Maynard have described his death as a "devastating blow".

A statement issued by the family of the 23-year-old batsman, who died after being hit by a train, thanked well-wishers for their support.

"The Maynard family would like to thank everyone for the many messages of support following Tom's tragic death in London," they said.

"As you can appreciate, the news has come as a devastating blow and although the family is grateful for all the kind messages of sympathy, we would ask that we can be left to grieve in private at this very difficult and sad time for us."

The player, who had been widely tipped as a future England international, was struck near Wimbledon Park station on the London Underground District line shortly after 5am on Monday. The Cardiff-born cricketer was the son of former England and Glamorgan batsman Matthew Maynard.

His girlfriend, model Carly Baker, wrote on Twitter: "My beautiful boyfriend Tom Maynard, I can't cope with this. I love you always and forever. You meant everything to me. We will always be together. I love you Tom X." She added: "You're the most special man I have ever met. You made me the happiest girl. I love you always X."

It is thought Maynard may have been trying to escape police shortly before his death. Officers tried to pull over a black Mercedes which was being driven "erratically" an hour before Maynard's body was found on the tracks.

The force informed the Directorate of Professional Standards and the Independent Police Complaints Commission, but the IPCC referred the incident back to Scotland Yard after assessing the events leading up to Maynard's death. It said the pursuing officers had lost sight of the cricketer and had no further contact with him. About 50 minutes passed between the start of the police chase and Maynard being hit by the train. British Transport Police said the death was being treated as "non suspicious".

Surrey County Cricket Club described the batsman as "incredibly talented" and said he had impressed in all forms of the game. The club said: "His future potential was unlimited, with experts both inside and outside the club predicting he would soon follow in the footsteps of his father Matthew by graduating to full England honours."

England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Giles Clarke also paid tribute, saying: "This is a very sad day for everyone connected with Surrey County Cricket Club and for Glamorgan County Cricket Club where Tom spent the early part of his career. Tom was a player of enormous potential who had already represented England Lions and had an exciting future ahead of him."