Veteran cricket commentator Joseph `Reds’ Perreira is urging the establishment of pro league cricket here and expressed the hope that one day Guyanese players will not have to flock to Trinidad & Tobago to play cricket to earn their keep.
Perreira stated his eagerness to see this come about during his feature presentation at the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) awards ceremony Wednesday night at the Umana Yana.
He acknowledged that while Guyanese administrators and cricketers must respect what T&T has done in the further development of local players, there must come a time when Guyana’s standard of cricket must be elevated.
He was commenting on the professional league, which was promised to start next year by GCB president Ramsey Ali during his presentation.
“Hopefully with this pro league idea we can see the number of our players outside reduced where the challenge can be motivated to come and play in the local competitions, which automatically becomes higher and which will automatically attract more people because the competition and skill level is much higher. I look forward to the day when we ambitiously…there is no need for our people to go to Trinidad & Tobago but we must respect that Trinidad & Tobago has done a good job in seeing the talent we have and they were good enough to give them opportunities at the various clubs,” Perreira explained.
On the other hand, Perreira renewed his call for more to be done in honouring Guyana’s cricket legends of the past. In his wish list he asked that the Blairmont Community Centre Ground be renamed the Roy Fredericks Ground, sending out a plea to the management of Guysuco.
While he noted that efforts have been made to name streets and other landmarks after great sportsmen and women much more can be done. He indicated that this “will not be reinventing the wheel.” In his closing remarks, Perreira pleaded with local cricket officials not to hurt the game, urging them “not to play politics with the game of cricket.” He added that “the damage you will cause you will not be able to turn around.”
“You will hurt generations of cricket. I look at young [Tagenarine] Chanderpaul, I had the pleasure of meeting him during a West Indies presentation. If we hurt this game the likes of Chanderpaul and his natural talent, and there are others in this audience, this game will come to a standstill, just about operating. “Let us work together to overcome our differences, to not make self the importance, to not make power the importance but let’s move on with the game by the contributions we make. Whether we like ^Reds’ Perreira or not let us move on with what is right. Let us show the next generation and generations of Guyanese cricketers both male and female that will come on an even chance on the playing field,” Perreira advised.
Meanwhile, Ali in his speech declared that the GCB has received funding for the national secondary schools tournament and the establishment of a professional league. The national secondary schools tournament will feature 175 secondary schools across Guyana. Ali said Food for the Poor will be partnering with the GCB for this event.
Ali also pointed out that the year has not been without its challenges but sad the GCB will continue its mandate to develop the sport, which has been at its lowest for the past three years. He revealed that the GCB has formulated an action plan that goes into effect from next month and this will cover every facet of the game, on and off the field.