The family of Surrey county cricketer Tom Maynard, who died after being hit by a train, have spoken of their grief, describing his death as a "devastating blow".

A statement issued by the family of the 23-year-old cricketer thanked well-wishers for the many messages of support they had received.

"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 family said.

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.

It is thought he 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.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "At approx 4.15am on Monday, 18 June, officers stopped a vehicle after it was seen being driven erratically in Arthur Road, SW19.

"The male driver of the vehicle - a black Mercedes C250 - made off on foot. Officers were unable to locate the man. At approx 5.10am the body of a man fitting the same description was found on tracks near Wimbledon Park station."

The Cardiff-born cricketer was the son of former England and Glamorgan batsman Matthew Maynard. Surrey County Cricket Club described the batsman as "incredibly talented". 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."

Maynard's 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."

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said it has assessed the incident and referred it back to Scotland Yard because the pursuing officers had lost sight of Maynard and had no further contact with him before his death.