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March 5, 2012
Runako Morton, the West Indies batsman, has died in a road accident on Sunday, police have confirmed. Morton, 33, crashed into a utility pole on the Solomon Hochoy Highway in Chase Village in central Trinidad.
He was on his way home from a cricket match, and was the sole occupant of the vehicle. The accident occurred at around 11pm local time. When news spread about his death, many of his team-mates posted condolence messages on Twitter, like Wavell Hinds: "Gone far too soon brother Runako. I will treasure the great memories for sure. R.I.P. God knows best." Rayad Emrit, Morton's Trinidad team-mate, tweeted: "R.I.P. Morton. You'll always be remembered buddy. Gone but NEVER forgotten. We miss you bro."
Julian Hunte, the president of the West Indies Cricket Board, sent his condolences: "Runako's passing, still in the prime of life, leaves us all in shock," Hunte said. "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."
Morton played 15 Tests and 56 ODIs for West Indies, with his last appearance for his country coming against Australia in a Twenty20 international in 2010. He underachieved as a Test batsman, scoring 573 runs at an average of 22.03 with four half-centuries. He had a better record as a one-day player, scoring 1519 runs at an average of 33.75 with two centuries and ten fifties.
Morton's career was blotted by disciplinary breaches. He was expelled from the West Indian Academy in July 2001, and a year later was called up to the injury-plagued West Indies squad as a replacement for Marlon Samuels. He pulled out of the ICC Champions Trophy in September 2002, after lying about the death of his grandmother. His career slipped further when he was arrested (though released without charge) in January 2004, following a stabbing incident.
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
His maiden ODI century (110*) came in a losing cause against New Zealand in 2006. Two months later, he scored another century, but in a washed-out contest against Zimbabwe in Trinidad. However, one of his most significant one-day knocks was his match-winning unbeaten 90 against Australia in the 2006 Champions Trophy.
His in-and-out career continued with a recall for the 2007 England trip and he made runs against Zimbabwe later that year but his form never remained consistent. His most recent fifty was the unbeaten 85 against India at Kingston in 2009. His last Test appearance came in 2008 against Australia in Antigua.
Morton was one of the few players from the tiny island of Nevis to play Tests for West Indies. He represented Leeward Islands from his debut in 1996-97 till 2009-10, when he shifted base to Trinidad and Tobago. He scored 4104 first-class runs for Leewards at 44.60 with 11 centuries and 25 fifties. He played five first-class matches for Trinidad, scoring 189 runs.
Edited by Kanishkaa Balachandran
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Plays of the day from the fourth ODI between Australia and South Africa at the MCG