By Nandram Bhawanidin
Sahadeo ‘Buns’ Persaud, former Guyana Under-19 player and retired headmaster, was honored during the Dabi Charran and Cecil Dalloo Memorial softball cricket match on July 16th 2011 at Peter’s Field Liberty Avenue, Queens.
‘Bunsie’, as he is fondly known by his many friends and fans, was awarded a plaque for his contribution and commitment to cricket as a player, administrator and now umpire.
One of the most gifted cricketers to come out of Cornelia Ida (CI) and the West Demerara (WD) in Guyana, Bunsie may not have been an exciting stroke maker, but he was a consistent scorer of big innings. He was a solid and dependable opening batsman with a technically correct forward defensive shot. Also his cover drive was exquisitely impeccable, something to behold for connoisseurs of batting.
He started his cricket career as a 14-year-old in school competition and wasted little time in racking up big scores that made an impression with the Guyana national junior selectors, at the time. In 1966 he became the first youth player from the West Demerara area to win selection on the Guyana National Youth team. He played with the likes of former West Indies star batsman Alvin Kallicharran, Lall Munilall, Madrimooto, Ronald Austin and Keith Aaron to name a few.
‘Bunsie’ went on to represent CI and WD with distinction for a number of years, scoring heavily in the regional and Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) competitions, compiling 19 centuries, with three on consecutive days (Friday, Saturday & Sunday). He would have had 20 centuries had he not fallen short by two runs against Leonora Cricket Club in a Drayton Cup Final, scoring a well played 98.
In 1968 having scored 173 not out against East Bank he was awarded the Joe Solomon Trophy for Youth Cricket in Guyana. He recalled many fans claimed that the innings contained every shot in the book, was stylish, elegant and well balanced. The innings he rates as his best though, was playing for CI in the Northcote match against Gandhi Youth who were equipped with their best bowlers – Bissessar, Bowman, Goolcharran and others. “Bunsie’ compiled an undefeated 100, in another well accomplished batting display.
As a bowler his best figures were 8 for 38 against DCC representing WD in a Northcote match.
‘Bunsie” captained CI in the local competitions for a few seasons and brought them many victories.
He expressed great appreciation for his coach and mentor, Joe Solomon, the former Guyana and West Indies Test cricketer.
Apart from his cricket career he was a trained school teacher. He taught at CI Primary and Zeeburg Secondary schools. In 1975 he made a major decision in his teaching career when he decided to take up a Headmaster position in the Northwest Region of Guyana. He thought it was a good deed to go and share his knowledge in education with the lesser fortunate kids in Guyana’s interior rather than continue playing cricket.
After 30 years as a teacher, in 1998 ‘Bunsie” was seconded to the Regional Education Office of Region 3 as Regional Sports Officer. In this position he served over 100 schools. He continued in that position until he migrated to the USA in 2003.
With cricket in his blood he attempted a comeback in a few matches in NY, but because of the playing conditions he quickly turned to umpiring.
‘Bunsie’, the man who said “Life is cricket and Cricket is His Life” surely meant that. Today he is one of the top umpires in the NY softball league.
As a cricketer his contributions were invaluable to the causes of the teams he represented and sports as a whole.
As an educator he served his country well wherever he worked, in places where few ventured. As an umpire ‘Bunsie’ has always stood firm.