Hamilton-Brown puts happiness first
It is often easy to lose track of the most important things in life.
For those who participate in or follow professional sport, the quest for success can dominate one's thoughts.
Yet there are, of course, issues that take precedence over accomplishments on the field, no matter how much pleasure the latter may bring.
In June, Rory Hamilton-Brown, one of the country's leading young talents and captain of Surrey, was dealt a crushing blow when the tragic death of his team-mate and best friend, Tom Maynard, was announced.
It was no surprise to see Hamilton-Brown take time out of the game in the weeks that followed; he and Maynard, close from their time at Millfield School, shared a house and a strong bond.
By the end of the season, a move away from Surrey, where he enjoyed notable success at the helm, emerged as the clearest solution for a player understandably struggling to regain his focus.
Granted permission to leave, Hamilton-Brown duly signed at three-year deal at Sussex, the club he had left to skipper Surrey prior to the 2010 season, and is now looking ahead to the next chapter in his career.
During an interview with ecb.co.uk, the 25-year-old spoke openly about his return to the PROBIZ County Ground and the dire circumstances he has been forced to confront.
"Obviously it's been a tough few months and I haven't played a huge amount of meaningful cricket, but it's nice now to have a goal - with the beginning of next season - and something to target, which I haven't had for a while," said Hamilton-Brown.
"There was interest shown from other counties (when he decided to leave Surrey), but as far as I was concerned, I wanted to go to a place where I would be happy in my cricket, but also happy within myself.
"I've said it before - as a youngster you can become engrossed in the career of being a cricketer and your performances. You're in a good mood if you do well and a bad mood if you do badly.
"Your whole life is judged on that, but I've re-prioritised. Happiness is my number one and Hove is a place where I've got great memories of being incredibly happy day-in, day-out."
Hamilton-Brown retains warm affection for the club he led to Clydesdale Bank 40 glory and promotion from Division Two of the LV= County Championship in 2011.
"I'm incredibly grateful to everyone at Surrey - the way everyone handled what happened has been truly remarkable," he added.
"More so than anyone, the players have to be congratulated for the way they managed to stay up and the way Gareth Batty took on the captaincy. It was a monumental effort.
"I really do appreciate that they have understood my need to move on for a fairly obvious reason. It was a difficult decision, but with everything that happened with me having not played and spent time away from the side it just felt like a fresh start (was needed).
"There was such an alignment with me playing at Surrey and Tom, whether it's living together, driving to every game together, batting at four and five together. It was something in my head that just became too difficult to comprehend moving on."
Once his exit from south London had been decided on, Hamilton-Brown had no doubts when it came to his preferred destination.
Asked if he could have anticipated playing for Sussex again when he moved on almost three years ago, he replied: "I wouldn't have been shocked.
"I said quite a lot at the time that the only job that would have taken me away from Sussex at that time would have been to captain the club I had grown up playing for.
"It was massively on my to-do list as a cricketer - under international cricket it was the one thing I really wanted to have a go at.
"It didn't in any way reflect on my feelings about the club at Sussex. I had some incredibly fond memories there and that's why, when I decided Surrey wasn't the place where I wanted to continue my career, it was a very simple decision in terms of where I wanted to go, as long as they wanted me back."
Sussex's strong performances in recent times - they challenged for all three domestic trophies this summer - also proved attractive.
Although Hamilton-Brown's outlook on life has altered, a desire to make the most of his undoubted talent remains.
"I have a massive ambition to keep getting better, to win more trophies and obviously I want to play for England," he explained.
"The set-up at Hove is built to keep producing good sides and good cricketers. I think Sussex is such a fantastic place to improve yourself as a player and a person, so it's incredibly exciting.
"The goal is to make them better with me in the side."
After such a horrendous summer, ecb.co.uk cannot be alone in wishing him well.