West Indies to pay tribute to Runako Morton

Runako Morton

Basseterre, St Kitts — Wednesday, July 11 has been declared “Runako Morton Day” by the members of the West Indies team. The third Digicel One-Day International against New Zealand has been dedicated to the memory of the former middle-order batsman, who was a team-mate of most members of the squad.

Morton played 15 Tests, 56 One-Day Internationals and seven T20 Internationals for West Indies between 2002 and 2010. A hard-worker and fierce competitor, he started his career at the regional level for Nevis and graduated to play for Leeward Islands. He later moved to Trinidad and was a member of the Trinidad & Tobago which won the West Indies Cricket Board’s Caribbean T20 in 2011. He died earlier this year at age 33.

Wednesday’s match will be played at Warner Park in St Kitts, the sister island of Nevis. Morton was born on Nevis where he grew up and learned to play the game.

Speaking on Monday, West Indies captain Darren Sammy made the announcement on behalf of the team. Sammy and Vice Captain Dwayne Bravo have decided to go one step further and donate their match fees to Morton’s wife.

“We want to show our appreciation for Runako, who was one of us and remains one of us. He played with most of the guys in the team and he was loved by everyone. He was a real team player and gave his all for every team, every time he walked onto the field,” Sammy said of Morton, who wore the Windies Number 37 shirt.

“We know he was born in Nevis and played for Nevis before he played for Leewards and West Indies. During this series, we won’t be going to Nevis so we decided to pay tribute to Morton here in St Kitts, which is next door to Nevis.

“We thought this would be the ideal way to pay tribute. As players and as a team we are fully in support of this initiative as we remember a man who has been a great team-mate and a brother. It will be a big occasion on Wednesday as we remember Morton while we look to win, make it three on a trot, and take the series.”

Warner Park Cricket Stadium

West Indies lead the five-match series 2-0, following wins in Jamaica last week. Wednesday has been declared a Public Holiday by the government of St Kitts & Nevis and Sammy urged the fans of the twin-island federation to come out and support the Windies as they look to maintain their dominance over the Black Caps.

“Wednesday will be a chance to clinch the series, so we will look to do that and take the series at Warner Park. We are enjoying our success. Everybody looks in good form, and every day someone stands up for us which is good for the team. We always enjoy cricket in St Kitts and we know the people will come out and support us. Normally the pitch is very good and the outfield is very fast,” Sammy said.

“The last home series we had against Australia the home support was magnificent and we also got massive support from the fans in Florida and Jamaica. When you look into the crowd and see the fans cheering, it’s like an extra player. We expect the same here in St Kitts and we know the people will come out and support their team.”

First ball on Wednesday is 9.30 am (8.30 am Jamaica Time)

FULL SQUAD: Darren Sammy (Captain), Dwayne Bravo (Vice Captain), Tino Best, Johnson Charles, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith.

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