Jan 13, 2021 Sports
By Sean Devers
Kaieteur News – Hailing from the small Island of Montserrat where, after centuries of being dormant, the Soufriere Hills Volcano erupted in July 1995 destroying the Capital Plymouth, International Cricket Umpire Basil Morgan received his Country’s second highest Honour for his contribution to cricket in Montserrat, the Leeward Islands and the West Indies.
While for most people globally, 2020 was a year they would like to forget due the hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. But for the affable 73-year-old Morgan, who has a Guyanese wife, despite the trials and tribulations 2020 brought with, it was a year he would want to remember for as long as he lives since in November 2020 he received the Order of Excellence from the government of Montserrat.
The former statistician received an award earlier in the year from the world statistician body for his outstanding achievement of over 50 years as a statistician, while in October he was recognised by the Leewards Islands Cricket Association (LICA) for 60 years of contributing to Montserrat and Leewards cricket.
“Last year was not a bad one for me personally. I received the Country’s second highest honour, a trophy from LICA for my contribution to cricket in the Leewards, a trophy for 50 years of involvement as a member of the world body of cricket statisticians,” said the right Honourable Basil Elliott Walton Morgan.
At the Ceremony to bestow the Honour on Morgan from the LICA, Cricket West Indies (CWI) President Ricky Skerritt said Morgan is one of the regional umpires to follow, while President of the LICA Enoch Lewis said Morgan’s extensive contribution to Montserrat, Leeward Island and West Indies cricket over the past sixty years represents absolute commitment, dedication, and loyalty for the sport of cricket.
Morgan officiated in 16 ODIs between 1996 and 2001, was Television Umpire in four Test matches and stood in 90 first Class matches and is the only person from the tiny Island to officiate in an International cricket match.
Born on May 13, 1947 in British Overseas Territory of Montserrat, to William and Louise Morgan and while he played the game and was good enough to make his debut as a player in 1965 for Montserrat as an off-spinner facing some of the great cricketers in the region like Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Andy Roberts, Veron Edwards, Sir Enoch Lewis among others, his claim to fame came as an Umpire and cricket statistician.
“At the age of twelve years I began appreciating the game of cricket and spent four years as the local league scorer, as well as Primary School Cricket Umpire.
My involvement in cricket starts from being a scorer. I was also a player, Groundsman, selector, secretary of local cricket statistician, match referee, manager. I also did a little bit of coaching and I am indeed thankful to God for giving me health and energy to get all these things done,” said Morgan who officially retired as a local Cricket Umpire after serving 52 years in the sport from 1960 to 2012.
On his retirement Morgan was honoured by the Ministry of Education, Youth affairs and Sports at the Cultural Centre.
“It has been a pleasure serving my country and it delighted me to see the youth grasping for and reaching toward positive objectives where the game is concerned. I can only hope that those who are currently involved will uphold the standards of Cricket and continue to pursue the game as a lifetime career, making themselves and Montserrat proud. I am satisfied that through his involvement, the game has developed particularly in Montserrat over the past 50 years,” Morgan noted.
Morgan thanked former regional umpire Theodore Bramble, Frank Edwards, Pat Whyte, Lloyd Barker, Steve Bucknor and Eddy Nicholas. He also thanked MCA, LICA, CWI, West Indies Players Association, ICC and former head of the WCUA Chetram Singh for supporting and encouraging him throughout his career.
I (this writer) remembered whenever I was doing Radio Commentary in Antigua, St Kitts, Nevis, St Martin or Anguilla I would say hello to Umpire Morgan and he would send me information on the Leewards players and team.
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