PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Leeward Islands batsman Runako Morton will make his debut for Trinidad and Tobago in next month’s Caribbean Twenty20 Championship after being included in a 14-man squad yesterday.
The 32-year-old, who is from Nevis, represented the Leewards as recently at the inaugural CT20 back in July but recently made himself available to T&T selectors after citing difficulties in the constant travel between the twin-island republic and the Leewards.
Morton is married to a Trinidadian and has resided in T&T for the last six years. He played domestically for top club Queen’s Park and rattled off five centuries in the recently concluded season. Convenor of national selectors Dudnath Ramkessoon yesterday said Morton had made a strong case for selection.
“We welcome him into the T&T set-up and we are hoping that he continues his good work that he started with the Leeward Islands,” Ramkessoon said.
“In the short time he had to impress the selectors, he did very well and it was difficult not to see him in the 14-man squad. He also performed very well in domestic cricket and we decided to give him a chance to show his worth with the senior team.”
Morton has played 15 Tests and 56 One-Day Internationals for West Indies and last appeared in maroon colours earlier this year in a Twenty20 International in Australia.
All-rounder Richard Kelly, meanwhile, has made a return to the national squad while selectors have overlooked experienced left arm unorthodox spinner Dave Mohammed. Ramkessoon said these selections were due to the fact that both West Indies all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard would be missing. “With two top all-rounders missing from the team, we took our time to select the all-rounders. We deliberated a lot over the all rounders and in the end we decided to go with Kelly and Kevon Cooper,” he explained.
The side will be led by Daren Ganga and includes stylish West Indies stroke-maker Darren Bravo, talented opener Adrian Barath, discarded Windies wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin and West Indies A all-rounder Imran Khan who made a big impression last season.
“The team has the right blend in our opinion. It was not easy to choose giving the fact that so many players did not get a chance to address the selectors because of the bad weather,” Ramkessoon noted.
“However, we are confident that this group of cricketers will do well at the tournament.”
Interestingly enough for Morton, T&T will open their CT20 campaign against the Leewards in Antigua, in the tournament which runs from January 10-23.
Squad – Daren Ganga (captain), Lendl Simmons, Runako Morton, Darren Bravo, Adrian Barath, Imran Khan, Sherwin Ganga, Denesh Ramdin, Sunil Narine, Kevon Cooper, Ravi Rampaul, Samuel Badree, Jason Mohammed and Richard Kelly.