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By Lisa Flueckiger, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The sport of cricket, a ball-and-bat game invented in England, is growing in popularity in Rio de Janeiro. The city’s team, the Carioca Cricket Club (CCC), invites everyone interested to join them for the 2015 season at the opening event on January, 29th.

The Carioca Cricket Club hosted the T20 national championship on their home ground in 2014, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
The Carioca Cricket Club hosted the T20 national championship on their home ground in 2014, photo courtesy of CCC.

The CCC, founded in 2011, will host a membership launch event for the news season on January 29th starting from 7PM onward in the Lord Jim Pub, in Ipanema’s Rua Paul Redfern. The event will be a chance for regulars to sign up for the year, but anybody interested in playing at any level is invited to come and meet the team and join.

A fixture list and club t-shirt are included in the membership, with inter-cub practice matches, national championship games and even international travels already scheduled for the year.

The CCC hosts their games on their beautiful fazenda (farm) and polo club home ground in Itaguaí, around 70km west of Zona Sul (South Zone). The ground is not only perfect for cricket matches, but also hosts facilities, such as a pool and a BBQ area for the accompanying families to enjoy.

For those unfamiliar with the game, cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each and it takes place on a field with a rectangular 22-yard long pitch at the center. Each team takes its turn to bat, attempting to score runs, while the other team fields. The CCC usually competes in T20 matches, the shortest, and often considered the most entertaining form of the game.

At the 2014 championship, the former national champions had to cede the title to São Paulo, who won the final over the team from Minas Gerais, but were proud to host the championship that lasted two days, with six matches and a total of 15 hours of cricket in Rio de Janeiro.

These championships and other initiatives make the sport more popular in Rio and in Brazil. “Cricket has an older history in Brazil than football [soccer] and has been played here since the 19th century,” CCC’s Craig Allison explained.

“We have one Brazilian [player] and we are involved in various social projects promoting it in the communities. (…) In 2013, we advised Globo on their novela (soap opera) Lado ao Lado regarding costumes and trained the actors to play cricket as one episode depicted a cricket scene,” Allison continued.

For more information, visit the club’s website here.

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