Former 'Beyond The Test World' curator Tony Munro dies
Tony Munro, who covered Associate and Affiliate cricket for more than a decade with ESPNcricinfo, died on Saturday morning in Australia at the age of 52. He was admitted to a Sydney hospital on April 15 after suffering a stroke and never recovered.
Munro, who was born with dwarfism, had suffered health complications throughout his life including a previous stroke in 2008. "Probably what people didn't realise [is that] he was somewhat disabled but he just carried on. It was very hard for him, but he loved sports journalism and what he did was with some great difficulty," his older brother Scott told ESPNcricinfo.
Munro was a staple on these pages from 1999 to 2010, serving as Beyond The Test World correspondent. His first submission included dispatches on 14 countries, ranging from traditional Associate powers at that time like Kenya, Namibia and UAE to the more obscure Belize, Indonesia, the Maldives, Mexico and Spain.
"There's a real beautiful message out of this," Scott said. "Tony was an underdog, so I think he appreciated those that didn't have it all. As a dwarf and as someone that was struggling, his take on 'Beyond The Test World' was that I can't play cricket and necessarily be at the big end of things, but there's a whole other world out there.
"There was a synergy between Tony being a dwarf and him looking after the smaller nations in cricket. It was embedded in his psyche. He completely respected that besides the headline acts and the show ponies, there's a whole bunch of people that are battling along, struggling and don't necessarily have mainstream backing. That was Tony. 'Beyond The Test World' was a personification and expression of his personality, in journalism terms."
Munro was spectacular at finding stories about cricket in low-profile locations such as the Falkland Islands in the Atlantic Ocean or Nauru in the South Pacific. For a regular interview feature titled, 'Totally Homegrown', he profiled indigenous players in emerging nations to demonstrate the game's growth was not solely reliant upon expatriate talent.
"He used to run up massive international phone bills," Scott said. "At the time he was doing it, international calls were very expensive. The smaller and more remote, the juicier it was for him."
Born the third of four children in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Munro began as a sports reporter for the local publication - the Daily Advertiser. Later, he moved to Sydney where he got in touch with ESPNcricinfo. He also edited the Cricket Round the World section of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack from mid-2000s to 2011.
According to Scott, Munro had also worked as a correspondent for Open Rugby magazine, now known as Rugby League World. At the time of his death, Munro was journal editor of Short Statured People of Australia.
Munro, most recently, lived in the Randwick area of Sydney. He is survived by his mother, brother, two sisters, two nieces and five nephews. A funeral for Munro is scheduled for Wednesday in the north Sydney suburb of Macquarie Park.
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna