Robin Morris: Former Indian first class cricketer in the eye of match-fixing storm
The Mumbai cricket fraternity was hit by another shocker on Saturday with the news of a sting operation on one of their former Ranji cricketers, Robin Morris, which has led to an investigation from the International Cricket Council (ICC) over claims of his involvement in pitch-fixing.
His former colleagues were not willing to react, the subject being too sensitive. The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) said they have not got any instruction from the Indian cricket board or the ICC, till late evening.
The Al Jazeera television network claimed that Robin Morris admitted to his involvement in bribing a groundsman at Galle last year to alter the pitch.
An all-rounder, Morris had made a name for himself in school cricket playing for the famous Shardashram High School under coach Ramakant Achrekar. After his natural transition to the Mumbai cricket team, he went on to play 42 first-class matches with 1358 runs and 76 wickets. A player in the one-day mould, he was an attacking batsman and a medium pace bowler.
His last first-class game for Mumbai was the 2004 Irani Cup match against Rest of India at Mohali, where he got a six-wicket haul in the first innings. But during the match he landed badly on his shoulder and had to be operated upon. He didn’t play first-class cricket after that. He was 27 at that time. The Rest of India side had Zaheer Khan, Gauram Gambhir, Akash Chopra and Parthiv Patel.
His last game for Mumbai was in 2007, the West Zone Inter-state Twenty20 tournament, where he opened with Ajinkya Rahane with Rohit Sharma batting at No 3. Later, he jumped ship to join the Indian Cricket League and his career soon ended.
Soon the T20 league got embroiled in controversy for all the wrong reasons and players like Morris quit the game for good.
During the same time, he quit his well-paying job at Bharat Petroleum as well. His last official match for BPCL was in the BCCI Corporate Trophy at Visakhapatnam, in September 2009, against MRF.
There were different versions of why he quit his job in haste. According to one of his former Mumbai teammates, the reason was the demand of the employers for cricketers to work full-time after their first-class careers are over.
He had gone out of the radar after the ICL went defunct. He was hardly seen in Mumbai cricket circles. Last month on April 9, he started a cricket coaching clinic at a small ground at Seven Bungalows near Versova Welfare High School and Junior College, a friend of his revealed.
By Saturday evening, Morris had deactivated his Facebook profile.