Runako Morton Dies Following Car Accident

Runako Morton Dies Following Car Accident
Runako Morton Dies Following Car Accident
©REUTERS / Action Images

West Indies batsman Runako Morton has died after being involved in a car accident in Trinidad on Sunday.

He played 15 Tests, 56 One-Day Internationals and seven Twenty20 Internationals, last playing for the West Indies in a Twenty20 against Australia in 2010.

The 33-year-old scored 573 Test runs, 1,519 ODI runs and had a good first-class record, scoring 5,980 runs at an average just shy of 40.

He was a versatile cricketer with a technique solid enough to see him entrusted to open the batting on occasion but was equally capable of powerful hitting which helped him score a brace of ODI centuries. He was a fine fielder and bowled occasional off breaks.

In a statement issued by West Indies Cricket Board, President Dr. Conrad Hunte offered the following tribute to the player:

“Runako’s passing, still in the prime of life, leaves us all in shock. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends as we all try to come to terms with his loss.

"He will be remembered as a fierce competitor on the field who gave no quarter whether he was playing for West Indies, Leeward Islands, Nevis or Trinidad and Tobago."

Former team-mates and opponents have paid their tributes on Twitter.

Chris Gayle, who opened with Morton on several occasions for the West Indies posted: "We lost a True Warrior. W.I Cricketer Runako Morton - May his soul rest in peace! Our memories together Live On! My Condolences to his Family."

Trinidad & Tobago all-rounder Dwayne Bravo reacted witht he following: "RIP Runako Morton. Shocked and saddened at the loss of my former WI teammate."

Current West Indies captain and Leeward Islands team-mate Darren Sammy wrote: "A cricket warrior gone but not forgotten..Played every game hard..Condolences to his family and friends...RIP RUNAKO MORTON.."

Kevin Pietersen added: "My thoughts go out to Runako Morton's family this morning... Such sad news!! What a lovely guy & fierce competitor!! RIP bossman!!!'

And Dale Steyn tweeted: "Sad to hear of the passing of Renako Morton, prayers and condolences go out to his friends and family!"

For all his talent, his stop-start career was marred with controversy. He was expelled from the West Indies Cricket Academy for bad behaviour in 2001, dropped in 2002 after he lied to the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and then in 2004 was arrested following a stabbing. He was also arrested in 2011 for possession of marijuana.

In 2011, he made the switch from the Leewards Islands to play for Trinidad & Tobago in a bid to resurrect his international career although the selectors overlooked his performances, instead placing their faith in younger batsmen such as Kirk Edwards, Kieran Powell and Adrian Barath.

Perhaps his most notable performance in a West Indies shirt was a match-winning innings of 90 not out in the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy - one of ten ODI half-centuries he compiled.

His came in March 2006 when he made 110 not out against New Zealand in the 4th ODI in Napier and he with a knock of 109 against Zimbabwe in May of the same year.

He also scored centuries for West Indies A in England in both 2002 and 2006 and his career-best first-class score of 231 came for the Leeward Islands against Combined Campuses & Colleges in March 2009 - his second double-century of the season.

He also scored 201 for the West Indians in 2007.

© Cricket World 2012