It’s been a long ride, says Perreira … To retire from cricket broadcasting

first_imgAFTER almost 48 years as one of the most recognised voices in cricket broadcasting, Guyanese-born cricket commentator Joseph ‘Reds’ Perreira has decided to retire.Perreira, who announced his retirement yesterday at the Tower Hotel poolside, is set to end his career at the end of the historic Day/Night First-Class match between hosts Guyana Jaguars and Barbados Pride, which commences today at 15:00hrs at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.The late Tony Cozier will always be rated as the most famous of West Indian broadcasters, but Perreira’s contribution has been significant too.His voice, clear, loud, and with no hint of a stammer, goes on to boom through radios across the world for decades.It’s a remarkable story. Reds, who is a former adviser to ex-Sport Minister Shirley Field-Ridley, covered 147 Tests and over 200 ODIs and regards himself lucky to have had the career he has had.“It’s been a long ride, a great time in my life, I was very lucky, and thanks to people, and if wasn’t for Rafiq Khan, the GBS, Caribbean Broadcasting Union, GBC, who really made great openings for me in 1973 when Australia toured, and Jerry Richards in Barbados, I probably wouldn’t have got the opportunity,” Perreira said.At 76, Perreira did not complete high school but he possessed infinite determination and an amazing ability to take risks, attributes that permitted him to overcome his speech impediment and become a rare Caribbean sports jewel.He did cricket commentary all over the world, expect in Bangladesh.“I saw the best, I met the best, I broadcast with the best, and maybe it’s not recorded but the World Series of 1978 was the fieriest among the cricket I have ever commentated on. You had the best players in the world brought together by the Kerry Packer organisation,” Perreira pointed out.Perreira launched his broadcasting career in 1968 with the-then Guyana Broadcasting Service. He spent four years with the station before joining the broadcast circuit full-time and becoming closely associated with the late Cozier, who was considered the Caribbean’s foremost cricket commentator.However, when asked what prompted him to actually follow a career in cricket broadcasting, the former St Lucia Tourist Board sports consultant said, “I supposed listening to West Indies in England in 1950, listening to John Arlott, Rex Alston, and then I followed the ’51 tour in Australia, I was listening to Jonny Moyes, Michael Charlton and Alan McGilvray.”Perreira broadcast his first Test match at Bourda in 1971.Perreira mentioned that the quarter-final match between West Indies and Pakistan in 1975 and a Test match between the West Indies and Australia at Adelaide in January 1993, which West Indies won by one run, are the two most memorable cricket matches, where he was a part of the commentary panel.Perreira, a National Sports Council chairman acknowledged that the region has produced many great cricketers but Sir Garfield Sobers is the greatest player he has seen.Meanwhile, Perreira called on the regional commentators to unite, support, and help each other. He also advised them to pace their commentary accordingly, and at the same time to deal with off-field matters in a balanced manner.He also made an appeal to both the government and opposition to be a part of the game, which he said has held us together as a people.He suggested that a Prime Minister’s X1 versus an Opposition X1 cricket match, where all the funds generated would go to charity. This according to Perreira can further strengthen social cohesion.Finally, Perreira is urging Guyanese to come out and support the day/night fixture, which he said will be a fitting farewell for his career.last_img

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