Jun 11, 2021 Sports
World’s oldest Test Match Commentator at 82
Kaieteur News – Joseph ‘Reds’ Perreira, who celebrated his 82nd birthday last Month, is behind the microphone for 146th time in a Test match; marking 50 years of commentating on Test cricket on Radio since making his Test debut in 1971 when West Indies opposed India at Bourda.
Now the World’s oldest Test Cricket Commentator, Reds, was on the Radio panel yesterday describing the action in the first Test of the 2-Test series between West Indies and South Africa in his adopted home St Lucia.
During his 50 years behind the Mike describing Test matches for Radio, Reds has worked with all great commentators of the past and most of the young generation.
Pairing with the late great Tony Cozier, (the only West Indian to do more Tests than Reds) they ensured that West Indian voices were heard around the globe.
Dicky Rutnagur, Jim Maxwell, Richard Benaud, Henry Blofeld, Christopher Martin Jenkins, Brian Johnston, John Arlott and Alan David McGilvray are a few of the great Radio Commentators Reds said he worked with.
“Some of better young West Indian Radio Commentators to do Test cricket are Simon Crosskill, Andrew Mason, Fazeer Mohamed and Sean Devers and I have worked with all of them,” stated the Guyanese broadcasting Icon who was born in Pomeroon, Essequibo.
Among his most cherished memories in his long and illustrious life is Commentating in the 1975 in World Cup Final at Lords when along with Tony Cosier, Brian Johnson and John Arlott were the Commentators.
Meeting Fidel Castro and Sir Donald Bradman were also among his most memorable moments.
The son of a farmer, who could not complete a sentence without stammering; Reds overcame that and other daunting challenges, including a severe stroke in Australia, to become Guyana’s most illustrious sports commentator.
“Radio was big in those days (1950s) …you had the BBC coming through all the time, and on short wave you could catch Radio Australia…TV only came in the late 1970s.
I would lie in bed and broadcast an imaginary Test match… imaginary football, with Brazil playing England, and imaginary World title boxing. My mother wondered if I was going mad,” remembered Reds, who said he watched his first Test match in 1953 when West Indies opposed India.
Despite television, ‘Reds’ thinks radio still has a role to play in developing sports, especially in the rural areas, and he urges young commentators to do intensive research and know the players and venues, the veteran advised.
Naming the Media Centre at the Stadium after him would be a fitting thank you to a special person who proved that where there is a will there is always a way. (Sean Devers)
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