Cricket West Indies to honour “REDS’ Perreira at Sabina Park Jamaica

July 31, 2019 – Caribbean News Now

Joseph “Reds” Perreira

ST JOHNS, Antigua – Cricket West Indies (CWI) is set to honour renowned cricket commentator Joseph “Reds” Perreira for his work in broadcasting the game for close to six decades

A special presentation will be made to Perreira during the tea interval on the third day of the second Test on Sunday, September 1 at Sabina Park, Jamaica.

The upcoming second MyTeam11 Test between West Indies and India – which is co-sponsored by Skoda and Fena starting on Friday, August 30, at Sabina Park in Jamaica will be Reds’ 150th Test Match that he has attended. It will also be the 250th Test Match that the West Indies have played on home soil.

“We would like to congratulate ‘Reds’ for his outstanding commentary on the over the last 60 years,” said CWI president, Ricky Skerritt.  “He has been an exemplary broadcaster on both regional and international levels for many years and is deserving of this recognition as one of the most notable voices of West Indies cricket.”

Perreira’s first “live” cricket broadcast too place 1961 in a first-class match between his native Guyana and long-standing rivals Trinidad and Tobago at Rose Hall. Ten years later, he covered his first Test between West Indies and India at Bourda Oval.

Perreira has also worked on 250 One-day Internationals, including attending the half of the dozen ICC Cricket World Cups to be staged – 1975, 1979, 1983, 1992, 2003, 2007.

“One of the enduring legacies of ‘Reds’ is his tenacity, coming from humble beginnings to rise to the top of broadcasting on the game from the far-flung arenas around the World,” said Skerritt.

“He has set an example of professional excellence and determination that should inspire many young broadcasters around the Caribbean to vigorously pursue the highest standards in their craft.”

“Like many West Indians of a past era,  I can remember all hours of the day and night being glued to our radios, which was the only way to follow the game for many years. The game was brought to life, as we listened to ‘Reds’ and the late, great Tony Cozier fly the flag of West Indian excellence in the commentary booths around the world,” Skerritt said.


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  • dhanpaul narine  On August 2, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    I have said it many times before and will say it again: The Media Center at Providence in Guyana should be renamed ” The Reds Perreira Media Center.” Now how difficult is it to make this happen?

  • HUBERT WILLIAMS  On August 3, 2019 at 1:21 pm



    Joseph “Reds” Perreira & Mrs. Zandra Perreira

    By Hubert Williams

    Boston, Massachusetts — I believe that I can speak with some authority about a colleague with whom I have maintained a close working relationship for longer than Guyana has been an Independent country… and I have watched him grow to the point where he eventually stamped his imprimatur on the treasured pages of international sport. Thus, I salute Joseph “Reds” Perreira for the achievement of another remarkable milestone on the challenging stage of life, as well as his near-four score years, and, earlier, his very interesting autobiography, “Living My Dreams”. “Reds” is now considering the impossible dream – retiring from formal work… and vesting the future of Caribbean cricket broadcasting into the hands of the young.
    “Reds” Perreira’s greatest assets in the highly competitive world of broadcast journalism have been his boundless enthusiasm, unflagging energy, an insatiable appetite for all forms of sport, and a high regard for the public’s right to be well informed, in addition to his abiding interest in helping to guide successive generations of Guyanese and West Indian sportsmen and sports journalists.
    It was this broad sweep, these wide interests, the expansive knowledge which contributed so substantially towards enriching the manner of his commentaries on matches from the most famous cricket stadiums across the world.
    And whatever may be said of his style, he was without doubt among the best the Caribbean has produced over the past 50 years.
    Indeed, when first I heard mention of names like Arthur Ashe, Althea Gibson, Cassius Clay, Evander Holyfield, and so many others before they had even emerged, through mention of them by “Reds” Perreira, they were still relative unknowns to the world’s sports fans.
    It might well have been “Reds” Perreira who started the practice during commentaries on Test Cricket of regularly updating listeners on what was happening in other areas of sport around the world.
    He began to embrace sport when quite young and participated in a number of disciplines, which one day long ago prompted a comment steeped in envy that “Reds” Perreira wants to be everybody and to play everything.
    But that was the basis on which his wide knowledge was developed: and so the restless youth who wanted to be everybody and play everything, transformed himself into a respected commentator on international cricket, boxing, golf, football, hockey, athletics, cycling, and in other areas. He has lived in Guyana, England, Holland, Surinam and the wide Caribbean.
    Further, for one whose career – his very livelihood – depended on speech, to me, “Reds” Perreira’s greatest achievement is that he was able to conquer the very difficult speech impediment of stammering. To many people who so suffer, it presents a serious difficulty, and they also find it embarrassing. I have found it necessary on a number of occasions to speak about him to stammerers (usually embarrassed over their incapacity for fluency) and have deemed him a classic example of how to overcome stammering through sheer effort and rigid discipline. A young member of the very prominent Goddard Family in Barbados was among several stammerers who I guided towards “Reds” method for considerably improved speech.
    In my view, “Reds” Perreira is one of the quintessential true Caribbean men in the realm of sport; but it is not always that the deeds he has done become public knowledge. I well remember the day in 1986 when it was announced that Shell Antilles & Guianas Ltd. had lost its long (I think 21 years) sponsorship of regional cricket in the Caribbean, through the Shell Shield tournament.
    Immediately the announcement reached international cricket centres, “Reds” Perreira telephoned me from Bombay (now Mumbai), India, where he was on tour with the West Indies Team, to say that what seemed a public relations setback for Shell could be turned into a great opportunity for Shell and Caribbean Football.
    He said he would immediately contact Tony Walcott of Shell in Barbados; and so it was, from across the world, that he set about disseminating his ideas to assist in transforming seeming adversity into a remarkable new era of relative prosperity and rapid growth in regional football. So far as I am aware, no public credit ever came his way for that initiative.
    However, his passion for excellence in Caribbean sport is globally acknowledged. And it was from him that had come one of the most commanding presentations to Chairman Sir Shridath Ramphal and the West Indian Commission during a session in Barbados in the early 1990s about the deteriorating fortunes of Caribbean sport, particularly cricket, and the sort of action programme he was recommending for rapid improvements.
    William Gilbert Demas, then President of the Caribbean Development Bank and a member of the Commission, afterwards said he had been very impressed with what “Reds” had said, and the manner of its presentation.
    When the Caribbean Community Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana, decided to establish a Sports Desk and appoint a Sports Coordinator of global renown, I spoke directly to the then Secretary General and recommended “Reds” Perreira as the most suitable candidate for the position. Eventually, the illustrious Barbadian (now Knight and National Hero) Garfield Sobers was preferred.
    Later, the Secretariat of the fledgling Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) moved similarly and at a three-person meeting in the home of the CDB President attended also by then Secretary General of the OECS Secretariat, I convincingly made the case that “Reds” Perreira was the perfect candidate for that job. The decision was “tell him to apply”.
    “Reds” undertook that task with great ideas, dedication, unbounded zeal, good contacts in sporting and private sector boards; and the sub-region has hailed his work as an outstanding success. Indeed, all quarters in Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Montserrat and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have publicly acknowledged the great difference in their sports performance and development since what I tend to refer to as “the coming of “Reds”.
    The entire Region recognizes the remarkable results. The great thing about his relocation to St. Lucia and the OECS was that the governments, private sector, leaders of national sports organizations and the public all warmed to his ideas and bubbling enthusiasm, readily giving their support. Thus, I take pride in saying that sporting activities in the Eastern Caribbean sub-region were transformed under “Reds” Perreira’s watch.
    Another outstanding initiative was his establishment of the Joseph “Reds” Perreira Foundation in Guyana, our contradictorily rich yet relatively impoverished nation which has been persistently squandering so much of its material and human resources.
    Under the programme, princes in the kingdom of Caribbean sport such as Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Wesley Hall, Sir Vivian Richards, Mr. Brian Lara have been involved in visits to Georgetown to interact with, advise and seek to inspire today’s youth… an initiative worthy of wholehearted support.
    And now, as I conclude, I make reference to the beginning of our friendship: Over all the years – the full half century of Guyana’s Independence – (and in our various points of interaction in Guyana and then Barbados), it is the circumstances of our very first meeting that remain the most dramatic and are very likely the true basis of our strong bonding.
    I was sitting at a desk in the Editorial Department of the Guiana Graphic at Lama Avenue, Bel Air Park, Georgetown, and looking across the room upon a scene as it unfolded. A young man with red hair had walked up to the desk of Sports Editor Rickford Ferrier, handed him a two-page hand-written document, and stood there in eager anticipation.
    Rick Ferrier read it, crumpled it up in his two hands, then tossed the ‘crump’ into the wastepaper basket. I saw his tears as the disappointed youth stood there dumbfounded, then turned away, left the Department and exited the building.
    Although I was just a junior in the department, I went over to Ferrier, picked the ‘crump’ out of the wastebasket, told him what I thought of his action, and ran outside to intercept the young man. He had retrieved his bicycle and was just about to mount. I invited him to come back inside with me.
    Back at my desk with him, he talked animatedly, though somewhat haltingly with the stammer, about the match he had witnessed that afternoon at the Georgetown Football Club, involving Santos Football Club, of which he was coach.
    As he talked, I refined and typed; whereafter Rickford Ferrier was persuaded as to the merit of the report and carried it on the following day’s sport page with the byline “Joseph ‘Reds’ Perreira” – his first.
    It is that deeply committed, enthusiastic and very passionate young man who has developed into an icon of Caribbean sports broadcast journalism and acclaimed sports organiser, and to whom I say: Congratulations to you, “Reds”, for the heights you have attained…
    One day I would like to see published those many photographs which I have seen of you and some of the outstanding global personalities you have met during your long career… to one of the most prominent of whom, Mohammad Ali, we have already said goodbye.

    ==== ENDIT ====

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