UPDATE, 22nd July 2019: This blog is 2 years old. Today would be Runako’s 41st birthday.
Today, 22nd July 2017, would’ve marked the 39th birth anniversary of Runako Morton, one of the most talented right handed batsmen ever to have hailed from the West Indies. However, all through his career, Runako never lived up to his potential and never gave himself a chance to be one of the greats.
Runako Shakur Morton was born on 22nd July 1978 in Nevis, a small island in the Caribbean Sea. His international cricket career for West Indies spanned over eight years, but a lot of these years were spent away from the game due to a string of controversies he was involved in. A troubled time at the crease, you can call it.
Having made his ODI debut in February 2002 against Pakistan, Runako was tipped to be the next best thing for West Indies cricket, and possibly one of the few test cricketers to emerge from the minuscule island of Nevis. He eventually did achieve this, making his test debut in July 2005.
His career was filled with controversies and bad behaviour. He was expelled from the West Indies cricket academy but was given a second chance, after which he made his debut. Soon later, he was dropped from the team due to a lie with regard to his disappearance from the ICC Champions Trophy.
Again, in 2004, he was dropped from the national squad as he was arrested due to a stabbing incident. Given a third chance in 2005, he made his test debut. His in-and-out career continued as he was later arrested once more for marijuana possession.
However, the naturally attacking batsman was a gifted batsman and West Indies cricket kept giving him a chance to prove himself. No one will forget his 2 ODI centuries, an unbeaten 90 against Australia in the 2006 Champions Trophy and an unbeaten 85 against India.
The entire West Indies mourned as Runako Morton died on 4th March 2012, in a road accident where he lost control of the car and smashed into a utility pole in central Trinidad. There were flashes of what the man could achieve during his career of 15 tests, 56 ODIs and 7 T20Is for West Indies, but I guess it was just never meant to be.
We at Read Scoops remember him today as he would’ve turned 39 today but he left at the age of just 33, five years ago. May his soul rest in peace. Here are some of the condolence messages that came through when he died:
RIP Runako Morton. Shocked and saddened at the loss of my former WI teammate
— Dwayne DJ Bravo (@DJBravo47) March 5, 2012
Our deepest condolences to Runako Morton's family. Such devastating and tragic news.
— CricketWestIndies (@westindies) March 5, 2012
A cricket warrior gone but not forgotten..Played every game hard..Condolences to his family and friends…RIP RUNAKO MORTON..
— Daren Sammy (@darensammy88) March 5, 2012
runako morton looked a very earnest cricketer everytime i saw him on the field…sad to hear of his passing..may his soul rest in peace.
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) March 5, 2012
We lost a True Warrior W.I Cricketer Runako Morton-May is soul rest in peace! Our memories together Live On!-My Condolences to his Family 🙁
— Chris Gayle (@henrygayle) March 5, 2012