Hamilton-Brown was one of the last people to see 23-year-old Maynard last June before he was killed on the London Underground line while fleeing from police. The coroner subsequently described him as a "habitual and regular" cocaine user at the inquest into the England Lions batsman's death.
However, 25-year-old Hamilton-Brown - who was Maynard's flatmate as well as captain during their time together at the Oval - insists those findings will not taint his memory of his best friend, and he told Press Association Sport: "Undoubtedly a little part of me wants to think that I'm carrying him with me and that's going to give you a deeper, harder drive than I've had before."
He added: "I didn't see it coming. To be honest with you it's not going to affect the memory of my best mate who's dead. That's not the way I remember him or knew him."
Now Hamilton-Brown is trying to re-launch his career on the south coast with Sussex, with whom he previously represented between 2008 and 2010.
The middle-order batsman questioned Surrey coach Chris Adams' handling of his return to the side so quickly last summer and revealed that, having decided he needed to leave Surrey, the familiarity of Hove was a key factor in deciding where to go next.
"I had a first real setback, a real life experience that I didn't know how to deal with," he said.
""There was no way I should have been on a cricket field, but I wanted to try it and see what I could do.
"I was disappointed to be brought back and dropped and brought back and left out, but ultimately I should never have played in the first place. Mentally I had a lot going on and I was not able to get myself in the place I was before the tragic incident.
"I can't wait (for the new season to start); it's been a while since I stopped playing last year. I've been on a road of discovery which has been brilliant in some ways but I'm really looking forward to being back on the pitch."
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