By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – With the 2018 South American Cricket Championship (SAC) drawing near, Rio’s Carioca Cricket Club (CCC) has announced that six of its players have been selected for the Brazilian national cricket team: Lokesh Suri, Jon Singleton, David Shahjeel Anwar, Nikki Monteiro, Ryan De Souza, and Nick Ellerby.
Two of the players, long-standing CCC player, David Shahjeel Anwar, and CCC Ladies Captain, Nikki Monteiro, will be traveling to Bogota, Colombia to join Team Brazil in the SAC taking place on August 23rd to the 26th.
“I feel exceptionally honored and proud to have been given the opportunity to represent my country,” exclaimed Monteiro. The 24-year-old was born in Cape Town, South Africa, but with Brazilian parents, she has dual citizenship.
Monteiro’s call-up to the national cricket team was not her first experience at the national team level. She also represents Brazil on the national women’s hockey team.
Like Monteiro, Anwar was also born abroad, in Pakistan. But he has since called Brazil his home taking Brazilian nationality. He described himself as “blessed and honored to represent and wear the Brazilian jersey.”
Being selected for the national team continues what has been a successful 2018 campaign for Anwar so far. Earlier this year, he was awarded Man of the Match for both his bowling and batting performance as the CCC played host to the world-famous Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).
“We are delighted that the club will be represented by [Anwar and Monteiro],” said CCC Captain, Nick Ellerby. “Both are winning their first caps for Brazil, and we are sure they will both contribute positively to Brazil’s performance in the South American Championships.”
The SAC is a four-day International Cricket Council-recognized tournament with both Men’s and Women’s teams competing from across the continent. The tournament will be played in the T20 format for both categories.
Joining Brazil this year will be teams from Mexico, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and host country Colombia.
“The Brazil Women should win this year’s SAC quite comfortably, it’s a young side with plenty of skill and enthusiasm,” predicted CCC Development Director, Matt Featherstone.
As for the Men, Featherstone said, “[They] also have a good chance, but have to get over the hurdle of beating Argentina, a side that seem to have had the better of us in recent years.”
The 2017 SAC took place in October 2017 in Argentina, with the host country winning both the Men’s and Women’s categories. In the Men’s category, Argentina beat Chile by seven wickets, chasing 133 to claim the championship.
On the women’s side, Argentina managed a razor-thin win over Brazil in the final by a two wicket margin, chasing 98 for the title win.
On Saturday, August 11th, the Carioca Cricket Club will be hosting their next intra-club match of the year at the São Fernando Polo & Cricket Club near Itaguaí. As always lots of families and friends will join, and the CCC organizes free transport to and from the grounds, located about seventy minutes drive by bus from Ipanema.
The Carioca Cricket Club was founded in 2011, and has grown each year since. Cricket has actually existed in Rio since the mid-1800s, when Emperor Dom Pedro II opened Rio’s first official cricket pitch in 1860 on Rua Paysandu in Laranjeiras.
For more information on the CCC, Cricket Brasil, the SAC championship and the intra-club match this weekend, visit the club’s Facebook page.
*This is a Sponsored article for the Carioca Cricket Club.