RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On Saturday, September 7th and Sunday, September 8th, Rio de Janeiro’s Carioca Cricket Club (CCC) will host the finals of the 2019 Granado National Cricket Championship. With six teams vying for the cup, the event promises a weekend full of cricket, food, and fun.
This year’s championship games will feature a diverse lineup of players from at least twenty different countries.
“We recently did a count of the nationalities of past and present players who have played for the Carioca Cricket Club – 22!” Tobias Hanbury, chairman of the CCC, tells The Rio Times.
“So, we should have around at least 20 countries represented this weekend,” he adds.
Along with the current champion, São Paulo, this year the championship will also have a new team from SP state, the São Paulo Bras. These two teams will be joined by two teams from Rio (CCC Lions and CCC Tigers) as well as the Minas Gerais and Distrito Federal teams.
Organizers and sponsors say they are excited about this year’s talented players.
“This year is looking to be our strongest year at the Nationals in Rio. The level of cricket is gradually rising, making competition better and better each year,” says Matt Featherstone, Director of Development for Cricket Brasil.
CCC Captain, Nick Ellerby, agrees, betting on at least one of the Rio teams as one of the two finalists.
“For sure the CCC Lions are going to be in the mix this year as the team is more experienced and we have had an influx of strong cricketers from the rugby club,” he says.
“Anything less than a final berth would be a disappointment. Competition for places is so tight that some experienced names will be representing our CCC Tigers team, which has the potential to cause an upset or two,” adds Ellerby.
Most cricket fans, however, agree that the São Paulo teams are the ones to beat.
“São Paulo has been the strongest state in our Nationals for many years so we look forward to inviting a second team to the tournament which will no doubt raise the level once again,” says Featherstone.
But according to the Cricket Brasil director, players from Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo teams are not the only ones that spectators will be watching.
“We have two youngsters in the Minas Gerais team who could make headline news, but only time will tell….,” suggests Featherstone.
With new teams and the growing number of fans, this year’s championship is expected to be one of the most successful yet.
“Cricket is growing steadily in Brazil with more people, especially Brazilians, starting to play the great game,” says Featherstone, noting the introduction of new cricket clubs being created and Brazilian teams competing in upcoming international contests.
According to the director, a successful cricket program based in Poços de Caldas, Minas Gerais has been implemented with 3,500 children having weekly cricket lessons. In the South American Cricket Championship, scheduled to be held in October in Lima, Peru, Brazil will have Under 13, Under 17, Men’s and Women’s team competing.
“The Brazilian Ladies National team are currently South American champions and are favorites to retain their title,” adds Featherstone.
During the weekend, spectators will also have the chance to taste the newly launched craft beer, Blood Brothers. According to Hanbury, Blood Brothers is the only craft beer produced in the Itaguaí region.
As in previous years, the Championship will take place at the CCC’s grounds at the São Fernando Polo and Cricket Club near the town of Itaguaí.
In addition to the cricket matches, visitors can also enjoy the Club’s tennis courts and swimming pool.
Burgers, sandwiches, beer, and soft drinks will all be available on Saturday, and on Sunday, a churrasco lunch (R$35 per person) will be served.
For the championship finals, the CCC provides free transport from Praça General Osório, Ipanema to Itaguaí, with buses departing on both Saturday and Sunday at 7AM and returning at 5:30 PM.
For more information on the CCC, Cricket Brasil, and the Championship matches this weekend, visit the club’s Facebook page.
*This is a Sponsored article for the Carioca Cricket Club.