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Joseph ‘Reds’ Perreira

By David Harris

Special To NAN

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Feb. 29, 2016: Guyana-born cricket commentator Joseph “Reds” Perreira is calling on the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the members of the regional team to devise a better way of settling disputes.

“West Indies’ cricket is going through a funny phase, almost every time the team is about to embark on a major tour, there is a conflict between the players and the board,” Perreira said in an interview recently. “The aborting of the One Day International series against India in 2014 was a major setback. The WICB and the players must find a sensible way to settle these disputes.”

The veteran commentator suggested that based on the policy enunciated by the chairman of selectors Clive Lloyd, a number of current test players may be about to depart from the game in the near future, adding  that several leading West Indian cricketers have been performing  below par  recently.

“Our fast bowling stock is not healthy. Kemar Roach seem to have gone past his better days, he is injury prone. Jerome Taylor was disappointing in Sri Lanka and Australia. Shannon Gabriel is not the finish product and Ravi Rampaul has not been a consistent performer at the international level,” the Guyanese commentator said.

“The opening position still has not been settled,” he added. “Kraigg Brathwaite has had several opening partners in the past two years, including Shai Hope and Rajendra Chandrika who have not performed well at the top of the order.  Jermaine Blackwood looked out of his depth against Australia and while Denish Ramdin is still a high quality wicket-keeper, his batting is hot and cold. The opportunities are there for players who perform in the Professional Cricket League to be drafted into the test team,”   said Perreria.

Perreira, however, says he endorses Jason Holder’s appointment as captain of the West Indies Test and ODI teams: “I think the young captain has the opportunity to shape and mold a team from among his peers.”

But he insists he is most impressed with the youth team and young Alzarri Joseph and Chemar Holder who bowled at the International Cricket Council Under  19 World Cup.

“It reminded me of the good old days. It was rather pleasing to watch two young West Indian fast bowlers generating such pace,” he said. “It was remarkable that in the final against India, not an over of spin was bowled. Holder and Joseph are two young and exciting fast bowlers but they must be guided and managed properly.”

After four decades in the commentary box, Perreira also has some advice for young commentators, reminding them to paint a word picture and to learn the various parts of the cricket field.

“I am a bit frustrated when I am listening and the commentator says the ball is played into the off side and do not identify the position. One of the fundamentals of cricket commentary is to tell the listeners which part of the field the batsman has played the ball. Unfortunately this is being ignored by some commentators,” said Perreria.

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