By Nathan Tilbury
In the last few years cricket in São Paulo and Brazil has progressed considerably. It has moved on from a dozen guys turning up once a month for a gentle game amongst themselves to a very competitive 3 team competition.
The Indians have had a team for a few years now and have a large number of active players in Brazil. The traditional team, which now calls itself The Rest of the World”, is mostly made up of people with a British background. Last year an Antipodean team was formed and these colonial Australians and New Zealanders came out on top. Since that rallying call summoned recalcitrant Aussies and Kiwis out of the bars and on to the field, the Indian and Rest of the World teams have faced a stern challenge to topple this increasingly impressive unit.
There have even been a few Brazilians who have ventured out for a game or
two. The club is currently talking to schools about holding cricket coaching sessions in order to encourage young Brazilians to take up the game. The objective is to have between 15% and 20% of cricketers in Brazil consisting of Brazilians within just 5 years.
Home and Away
At the start of the 2003 season, São Paulo cricket experienced the end of an era. For development reasons cricket left the São Paulo Athletic Club (SPAC) after 130 years and moved out to Clube AB in Cotia, on the outskirts of São Paulo. This has presented us with a great opportunity. However it is hoped that in the near future the sport will be played in several more locations in São Paulo and right around Brazil on a regular basis.
There are two other clubs in Brazil, Brasilia and Curitiba, and as part of a national tournament between the three clubs, the São Paulo cricket team tours and receives tours from these two cities. A particular highlight for the São Paulo club is when, occasionally, they host an overseas touring team. In April this year they welcomed a team from Australia, who played against a São Paulo selection, on their South American tour. The Galah cricket club were a strong side but the local team beat the tourists quite convincingly by 95 runs with local Aussies doing the damage. Greigor Caisley smashed an unbeaten 116 and Mark Mitchell took 7 for 25 off 8 overs.
Though the national team had a fantastic trip to the South American Cup in Buenos Aires back in December last year, the Brazilian national team were disappointed to come third. In a hard fought tournament, we lost narrowly to Argentina by 2 wickets and Chile by 20 runs. Both were nail-biting finishes. Argentina were the eventual winners beating Chile in the final, with only two balls and two wickets in hand. If Brazil can add some steel to their batting, they will make a strong challenge at the 2004 tournament in Santiago. In 2006 Brazil hope to host the cup here in São Paulo.
Recent months have seen cricket featured on Brazilian TV, in the Jornal da Tarde and the magazine Speak Up. This rising profile has to be the first step towards meeting the International Cricket Council’s challenge: to bring native born Brazilians to the game.
To continue this great progress São Paulo cricket is planning to purchase a portable pitch so as to be able to hold exhibition matches at schools and other locations. To raise money for the purchase of the pitch the cricketers are holding a month long raffle with great prizes from the likes of Grand Hyatt São Paulo; the All Black Irish Pub in Jardins; Ken Marshall, Australian Wine importer; Outback restaurant Shopping Eldorado, amongst others. The prizes will be drawn at a dinner/ dance to be held on Friday, the 27th of June at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. At R$10 a raffle ticket it is a terrific way to support this growing sport in Brazil, and you might even pick up a nice prize along the way.
All new players are always welcome to come along and join in for a game, or just have a look. Ability is not a prerequisite, just enthusiasm. It is a relaxing way to spend a quiet afternoon, either running around out in the middle or watching the game over a beer, tea or cucumber sandwich. The S.P.C.C. are also currently looking for both minor and major sponsors for the 2003 season and beyond, to help continue the development and to attract more Brazilians to the game.
If you’re interested in playing, watching or contributing in any way to
cricket in Brazil, just get in touch. Even if you’re spending a weekend in one of the other cities and fancy a game, there are matches in São Paulo almost every Sunday, and regular fixtures in Braslia and Curitiba. Come down to try out the old leggies, share a beer or just enjoy the unmistakable atmosphere of a game of cricket.
São Paulo Nathan Tilbury (President): firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave Gilman (Manager): email@example.com
John Milton (Secretary): firstname.lastname@example.org
Braslia John Landers (President): email@example.com
Curitiba Norman Baldwin (Development): firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel; (11) 9609-7723. Fax; (11) 578-9992. Email; email@example.com