BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Tributes have continued to pour in for the late regional and international cricket journalist, Tony Cozier, with the Caribbean Premier League hailing his “passion, insight and enthusiasm” and Jones P. Madeira of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union describing him as a “skilled broadcaster and a tremendous commentator.”
Cozier, known as the ‘voice of West Indies cricket’ for close to six decades, passed away yesterday at the Bayview Hospital here, following a brief hospitalization. He was 75. “Tony represented us everywhere Test cricket was being played and his unique style and presentation, and his very familiar voice dominated airways right across the Caribbean when we as the Caribbean Broadcasting Union sought stations’ intervention in subscribing to the service Tony would have provided from wherever cricket was being played,” said Madeira, chairman of the CBU Hall of Fame selection panel.
“Although for the years before he was a skilled broadcaster and a tremendous commentator, he moved up in the world as one of the best and I’m sure that’s the kind of tribute people would be paying today, recognizing Tony’s voice, his knowledge, his acumen, his capacity to analyse the game as being among the very best who undertook this task.”
Chairman of the CBU Hall of Fame, Jones P. Madeira.
Cozier was inducted into the regional body’s Hall of Fame 19 years ago, one of the many accolades afforded him throughout an illustrious career.
Damien O’Donohoe, CEO of the CPL, also praised Cozier’s contribution to cricket, noting the respect he engendered across the international cricket community.
“To many fans across the Caribbean and beyond he was quite simply the voice of West Indies cricket,” Damien O’Donohoe.
“His love of cricket was a positive influence in telling the story across a golden era for West Indies cricket and he was hugely respected and loved, in equal measure, by fans of the game. “For more than 50 years Tony’s voice has resonated through television, radio or the written word in homes across the cricketing world and he was admired internationally for his passion, insight and enthusiasm.”
Prior to his death, Cozier had been involved in chronicling West Indies cricket, in a project for the upcoming CPL campaign which bowls off next month.
And O’Donohoe said though the project would now remain incomplete, the information gathered had been invaluable.
“Most recently Tony was kind enough to share some of his hopes and thoughts on the forthcoming CPL in a way that was typically Tony; full of insight, forthright opinion and, above all, humour,” the official said. “He spoke at length about his beloved Barbados, St. Kitts & Nevis and the soon to be published Jamaica. Though this series will now remain unfinished, like his legacy, they will live on and no doubt endure for all time.”
The Caribbean Sports Journalists’ Association (CASJA) also paid tribute to Cozier, noting he had made an “invaluable contribution to the Caribbean media and especially to the game of cricket.” “Tony brought Caribbean identity among a list of elite cricket voices including Christopher Martin-Jenkins, Henry Blofeld, John Arlott, Joseph “Reds” Perreira, Bryan Waddle, Fred Trueman, Jim Maxwell, Geoffrey Boycott and Jonathan Agnew, to name a few,” said CASJA president Michael Bascombe.
Cozier leaves to mourn wife Jillian and two children, Craig and Natalie.