KINGSTON, Jamaica – Cricket West indies (CWI) on Sunday honoured renowned cricket commentator, journalist and broadcaster Joseph “Reds” Perreira for his dedicated service to the game of cricket and sports in the region for close to 60 years. The 80-year-old Guyanese received his award from Ricky Skerritt, President of CWI, at an appreciation ceremony at Sabina Park during the lunch break of the ongoing second Test of the MyTeam11 Test Series, co-sponsored by Skoda and KEI. This is the 150th Test on which he will have been commentating.
Perreira’s first “live” cricket broadcast took place in 1961 in a first-class match between his native Guyana and long-standing rivals Trinidad & 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, and 2007, when it was held on the West Indies.
In accepting the award Perreira said he would like to share with two other outstanding regional journalists and colleagues, the late Tony Cozier of Barbados and the late Tony Becca of Jamaica.
“I was very touched when I received the letter from the President of CWI that they would be bringing me to Jamaica as a special guest to watch the entire second Test match between West Indies and India. It coincided that I was part of the broadcast panel to do my 150th Test match. I am truly humbled and I want to thank the President and everyone who helped to make this moment a truly memorable one for me. I’m going out on a very special high,” Perreira said.
“The only sad part of that Tony Cozier and Tony Becca are not here. I want to donate my honour and share with these two esteemed gentleman. We were friends for a very long time and we shared many special moments in West Indies cricket.”
Perreira listed doing ball-by-ball commentary the 1975 World Cup final when West Indies beat Australia at Lord’s as the most cherished moment of his career. He said other highlights included: Brian Lara’s memorable 277 against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground; Lara’s spic 153 not out to beat Australia in Barbados in 1999 and Courtney Walsh’s wicket of Craig McDermott when West Indies won the Test match by one run at the Adelaide Oval.
Perreira also covered other major sporting event around the world including: 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles; Pan American Games in Venezuela and Puerto Rico; as well as the Netball World Championships. As a senior sporting administrator, he was head of the sports desk of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States as well as president of the basketball association in Guyana and president of the boxing federation in Saint Lucia.