Over the last two weeks, I have lost one friend and one mentor, who left this world way too young. So, I have been forced to think about death a bit more than I would have liked to. Now, with the news of Runako Morton’s untimely demise, it is confirmed: it is open season for angels and demons.
I have not really followed Morton’s career closely; so I cannot offer an objective analysis of his game. The only thing I do remember about him was his match winning 90 against Australia in the 2006 Champions Trophy. Nobody expected Australia to be challenged by the lowly West Indian side, but Morton ensured an unlikely victory and triggered expectations of a great in the making. Sadly, he never attained those heights.
Apparently, he had a troubled background and it showed in his numerous disciplinary problems in a brief career. Still, the man stuck at it and made a modestly successful career of it in First Class cricket. Going by the reactions of the West Indian cricket fraternity, he was well liked by his fraternity too. There is also a level of poignancy, that his death occurred as he was returning from a cricket match.
Tragedies like these always remind us to keep things in perspective. At a time, when fans are getting more and more demanding of the players and sporting bodies, it is wise to take a step back and reflect. These players have a short shelf life in which they are obligated to play well, entertain us and always be gracious to fans. We tend to forget that they are human too; capable of making the same mistakes and failing at certain areas, as the rest of us are prone to. So, let us be thankful to the thousands of nameless players, cutting across sports, gender, nationality and background; who make our pastime and their profession, that much more interesting, with their warts and all.
Rest in Peace, Runako.