ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – Trinidad and Tobago’s newest batting recruit Runako Morton has dismissed any idea of acrimony when he faces his old team the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean Twenty20 Championship next month.
Morton, who hails from Nevis, was selected to play for T&T after switching from the Leewards, and will now clash with his former teammates in T&T’s opening game of the January 10-23 campaign.
“The match against the Leewards will be just another match for me. It is just another game,” the 32-year-old right-hander said about the January 13 meeting here.
“I won’t get caught up in any hype and lose focus of the team goals and objectives. I would not want to be a distraction and cost us the match.
“We are all friends. I get along well with all the players in the Leewards team. We still talk a lot. There will be no animosity and I don’t foresee anything from the Leewards players.
“I still have love for the Leewards cricket and a lot of respect for Leewards players and the people involved.”
Morton, who has played 15 Tests and 56 One-Day Internationals for West Indies, is married to a Trinidadian and has resided in the twin-island republic for the last six years.
He also plays for top local club Queen’s Park, for whom he scored five centuries during the recent season.
Morton, however, complained recently of the commute between T&T and the Leeward Islands, and subsequently made himself available to national selectors.
“Making the switch from the Leewards was the common sense thing to do for myself and the family,” he said.
“The travelling back and forth to the Leewards was not ideal and I decided to represent T&T, which is now home for me.”
He will boost a side led by Daren Ganga and which includes the young batting talents of West Indies stroke-maker Darren Bravo and flashy opener Lendl Simmons.
Morton, who played for the Windies as recently as the ODI tour of Australia earlier this year, said he was already at home in the squad.
“I am happy the Trinidad and Tobago selectors picked me for the Caribbean T20,” he said.
“I will be looking to give my all for the team. I have been embraced by the players and the team management. I can’t complain. I feel very comfortable.”
T&T will campaign in Group B alongside Barbados, Canada, the Leewards and English County side Hampshire Royals.