The ECB is shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Matthew Hobden, the 22-year-old Sussex bowler, and offers its deepest sympathy to his family, friends and team-mates.

Matthew has been selected for the Potential England Performance Programme for each of the last two winters.

Kevin Shine, the ECB’s lead fast bowling coach, said: “Matt was a young cricketer with huge potential, and he is going to be missed so badly by all the guys. He made you smile every time you saw him, because he was so excited to be there and wanted to be the best he could.

"He cared about all the lads on the programme and he’d always be pushing them on. He contributed to the group as much as I’ve ever seen a player contribute. All the lads, and the staff, loved him.

“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.”

The England players wore black armbands in Hobden’s memory on the second day of the second Test against South Africa in Cape Town today.