By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On Saturday, November 3rd and Sunday, November 4th, Rio de Janeiro’s Carioca Cricket Club (CCC) will host the Finals of the 2018 Granado National Cricket Championships. Taking place at the CCC’s grounds at the São Fernando Polo and Cricket Club near Itaguaí, the event promises plenty of cricket, food, and fun for all.
This year’s finals is a T20 tournament featuring four teams: the CCC Lions, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, and Distrito Federal. The four clubs feature a diverse lineup of players from ten countries including England, Australia, Pakistan, India, Channel Islands, West Indies, Brazil, New Zealand, South Africa, and Wales.
Heading into the contest, 2017 National Champions São Paulo once again look to be the team to beat. The perennial favorites suffered a narrow loss to Distrito Federal in the first round of the Nationals this past May which may add extra incentive for the returning champs.
“São Paulo will be looking to avenge their narrow defeat in the first round, because they are the reigning National Champions, and have lost the Championship only once in recent history (to the CCC in 2013),” explained CC Club Chairman Tobias Hanbury. “But, Distrito Federal will be looking to spoil their run after their success in the first round.”
Hanbury added that the Minas Gerais team will be another club to watch in this year’s tournament. “[They] will be strengthened by a few of the Brazil National team players from Poços de Caldas as well as the ex-pro Matt Featherstone, so they may be the dark horse of the competition.”
The CCC had a less-than-stellar performance in the first round, going winless in three matches, but according to Hanbury they enter the second round in “quietly confident form, after several weeks of rigorous training.”
CCC Captain Nick Ellerby echoed Hanbury’s optimism, “We’ve got some new big-hitting batsmen and some very quick bowlers. The CCC is out to win this round on home soil.”
In addition to the exciting cricket matches, the weekend’s festivities will include a variety of activities such as tennis and swimming. Burgers, sandwiches, crepes, beer, and soft drinks will all be available on Saturday, and on Sunday, a churrasco lunch (R$30 per head) will be served.
And of course, all guests will have a chance to spend the day at the São Fernando Polo & Cricket Club, which as Hanbury exclaims is “now widely regarded as the Home of Cricket in Brasil, a beautiful setting with fantastic facilities…and of course it’s located in the ‘Corridor of Sun-Certainty.'”
For the championship finals, the CCC provides free transport from Praça General Osório, Ipanema to Itaguaí, with buses departing on Saturday, November 3rd, at 7AM and returning at 5:30 PM. On Sunday, November 4th, the bus departs at 7AM and returns at 3:30 PM.
The CCC was founded in 2011, and has been a driving force behind the recent growth of cricket in Rio de Janeiro and Brazil.
Cricket has actually existed in Rio since the mid-1800s, when a substantial part of the city’s population was of British descent. Emperor Dom Pedro II opened Rio’s first official cricket pitch in 1860 on Rua Paysandu in Laranjeiras.
Anyone interested should RSVP on their Facebook event page and stay up to date on new developments. For more information and the most up-to-date news on the CCC, visit the club’s Facebook page.
* This is a Sponsored article for the Carioca Cricket Club.