By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – From October 28th until October 31st, Rio’s Carioca Cricket Club (CCC) in partnership with Cricket Brasil, will be hosting the 13th South American Cricket (SAC) championship at the club’s grounds at the São Fernando Polo and Cricket Club near Itaguaí. The SAC championship is a four-day International Cricket Council (ICC) recognized tournament with both male and female teams competing from around the continent.
“To hold the South American championships is really very important for the continual growth of cricket in Brazil,” explained Matt Featherstone, Director of Development at Cricket Brasil. “This will be the biggest ever SAC held in Brazil as the last time we had just four teams, but this year we have ten teams participating,” he continued, referring to the last time Brazil played SAC host, in São Paulo in 2009.
“The Brazil National team are very happy to be playing with home advantage,” he added, “and hope that this year they can go one better than last and bring the Crown of South American Champs for the first time.”
In last year’s SAC championship, held in Santiago, Chile, Brazil fell just short of its first-ever SAC title, losing to traditional powerhouse Argentina in the finals. Argentina has been the dominant team in the South American cricket scene, winning eight of the twelve SAC championships that have been held.
But, with the ongoing development of the sport across the country, Brazil looks to be rapidly closing the gap between itself and its neighboring rivals. “Brazil has a wealth of talent spread far and wide in Brazil,” said Featherstone. “The strongest state with the most National team players representing Brazil in the tournament is Sao Paulo, who have been National champions seven times in the last eight years.”
“It is never easy to beat the tournament favorites Argentina, but with home advantage, we think this is going to be our year.”
According to Featherstone, Cricket Brasil’s partnership locally with CCC has also played a great role in increasing the presence of cricket in Brazil. “The Carioca Cricket Club have helped us raise the profile of the game as being in Rio was really important for the development of cricket,” he explained. “Their fantastic ground in Itaguaí the Sao Fernando Polo and Cricket Club has become the home of cricket for Cricket Brasil. It is a unique venue that can hold up to four cricket grounds at the same location.”
Freddie Brunt will represent the CCC in this year’s Brazilian national cricket team. The SAC championship tournament will begin on Friday, October 28th at the São Fernando Polo and Cricket Club in Itaguaí, and continue until Monday, October 31st. Food trucks will be on hand, as well as a bar, and all spectators are welcome.
In a lead up to the SAC championships, this Saturday, October 15th, also at the São Fernando Polo & Cricket Club, the CCC will be hosting its monthly intra-club match. The match is open to anyone who wants to play, as well as friends, family and children looking to spend the day out of the city to enjoy watching sport, eating delicious food and making the most of the facilities at the ground.
For more information on the CCC, Cricket Brasil and the SAC championship, visit the club’s Facebook page.
* This is a Sponsored article for the Carioca Cricket Club.