Yes, cricket does exist in Brazil. In fact, Brazil finished third place last year in the South American Championship, held in Buenos Aires, with the home side, Argentina, coming first and Chile second. In Sao Paulo there are games every other Sunday, from March to early December, at the SPAC Club, Santo Amaro. Cricket is also played at the HSBC club in Curitiba, and will soom be restarting in Brasília.

Cricket in Brazil has a long history. The Rio Cricket club was founded in Niterói in 1872, and the São Paulo Athletic Club in 1882. It is even said that Emperor Dom Pedro II and family were constant visitors at cricket matches. But cricket hasn‘t really caught on in this football-loving nation for many reasons. Cricket is a more complex game, a talking game, where players chat about tactics all through the match; it can take a long long time – international “test” matches take five days and less important games a whole day; protective equipment and a flat pitch are also essential. Indeed, the early form of cricket played in the United States around 1800 developed into baseball as America moved west during the 19th century. Yet a simplified form of cricket – taco – is played in the streets by children. It seems so similar that it must have originated from cricket.

The Brits took cricket wherever they went. In Brazil cricket was played in Recife, Santos, at British owned mines in Minas Gerais, at the Vesty meat farm in Barretos, SP, and of course Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Now it is only played in São Paulo, Brasília, and
Curitiba.

But the Brits kept cricket to themselves. There has never been any active coaching scheme to attract young Brazilians. Things may change in the future as the International Cricket Committee (ICC) wants to make cricket into a worldwide game and is already having considerable success in countries like Malaysia, Kenya and Canada, and is now preparing to invest in the Americas.