Tony Cozier laid to rest

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Bridgetown (Barbados), May 21 (IANS) West Indies cricket’s media titan Tony Cozier was laid to rest here following a service at the Coral Ridge Memorial Gardens that was attended by several dignitaries and influential members of the regional cricket community.

Barbados legend Garry Sobers topped the list of mourners along with former Chief Justice David Simmons, noted Caribbean jurist Richard Cheltenham, the West Indies batting great Everton Weekes and outstanding former fast bowler Wes Hall, who conducted the ceremony, here on Friday, reports CMC.

Several former West Indies players were also in attendance including legendary captain and current chairman of selectors, Clive Lloyd; legendary fast bowler and current Barbados Cricket Association president, Joel Garner; current West Indies head coach Phil Simmons and former West Indies vice-captain, Trinidadian Deryck Murray.

Barbados sports minister Stephen Lashley and Opposition leader Mia Mottley were among the mourners.

Known as the ‘voice of the West Indies cricket’, Cozier chronicled the fortunes of the team for nearly six decades, in an illustrious career which saw him rise to the summit of the industry.

Cozier was eulogised by son Craig who described him as an outstanding family man, a true professional and a pioneer in the field of cricket journalism.

“I was lucky to have him as my mentor and teacher as I too charted a path in journalism and cricket, learning as much from his vast professional know-how as his human qualities,” said Craig on Friday, an international television cricket producer.

“For a long time the sole Caribbean presence on overseas campaigns, Dad paved the way for others to follow and he was delighted to be joined by likeminded Caribbean men such as fellow commentator Reds Pereira, Jamaican journalist Tony Becca and photographer Gordon Brooks, to share his experiences with, as well as Michael Holding, Fazeer Mohammed and Ian Bishop in more recent times.”

He added: “Dad always had time for people and especially loved his family time.”

Cozier’s skills spanned radio, television and print, and he worked for nearly every major international media entity including the BBC, Channel Nine and Sky.

Despite his health challenges, he remained a major media presence and was in the commentary box when West Indies secured a shock 1-1 draw when England toured the Caribbean last year for a three-Test series.

Cozier was the editor of the West Indies Cricket Annual and was also a senior editor of leading local newspaper, the Nation, with whom he remained closely affiliated at the time of his death.

In 2007, cricket authorities here renamed the upgraded media centre at the redeveloped Kensington Oval the Coppin, Cozier and Short Media Centre, in honour of his contribution to the sport.

Cozier died last week Wednesday at age 75 following a brief hospitalisation.

He is survived by his wife, Jill, and children Craig and Natalie.

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