By Clinton Swanston
Memories of the steel piercing look in Runako’s eyes in December 2004 when he promised to make Nevisians proud, brought tears of joy to my eyes after he completed his 110 not out against New Zealand on Wednesday. This maiden One-Day century has in my mind, settled all doubts the WI selectors and others might have had about his complete dedication to West Indies cricket and his immense value to our cricket team.
It was indeed quite disheartening and disappointing the way he started off the series. No doubt the effects of the long flight lingered with him over an extended period of time and took its toll on him as well.
However, those who have followed the resilience of this man, the ablity to overcome all adversities and rise to the top again, knew it was only a matter of time before he would have dominated in this manner. Although it was in a losing cause, I am sure all Nevisians must be mighty proud of his efforts and accomplishments, especially in this match.
I must however reflect on the two previous innings when he got starts but failed to continue. Those contrasting innings highlighted the huge responsibility he has taken on himself to be a team player, and do what’s necessary for the team, under whatever circumstances.
As I read from his interview with windiescricket.com, it also made me extremely proud of how he accepted blame for losing ODI #3 and how he asserted himself during that interview. That, on the heels of this century, must make us all appreciate the man himself.
Runako has had more than his fair share of trials and temptations in the recent past. Clearly, he was wrongfully over looked in recent selections prior to this New Zealand tour and at the age of 27, frustrations must have played on him mind. One now has to wonder how coach Bennett King arrived at his decisions to favor Marlon Samuels, Xavier Marshall and Dwayne Smith on those previous tours.
At this particular time, Runako must be highly congratulated, fully supported and encouraged to continue pressing forward. He has shown the commitment and determination that has been sadly lacking in our present day cricketers. His fielding and catching has also been passionate and extremely positive. As Nevisian, I’m truly proud and very happy for him.
As for Annette, she too needs to share the spoils because if ever a mother is always 100% behind her son, she certainly is.
The one-day series is already lost, but the test matches will get underway shortly. I expect Ronnie will continue to do Nevis proud and keep the flames burning for a very long time.