October 1, 2009

Brazil

Women's team lights up Brazilian cricket

Tony Munro

Tony Munro

A car proceeds along the road adjacent to the huge rectangular expanse of green that is the Esplanada, a seemingly a giant traffic island in the middle of Brasilia, the capital of South America's largest country.

The driver has a wary eye out for those red balls which he has occasionally seen thwack into the side of other cars whose drivers are oblivious to the possible danger.

So who are these people all clad in white apparel? Dentists? Possibly. Cyclists who scoot across from time-to-time, and a fellow with a sharp stick from the local council, who skewers any litter, all add to the mystery, along with a group of these 'dentists' who are all female.

There's a 13-year old, who starts running in with one of the red balls and lets fly. Decent 'throw', and one of his 'dentist' mates asks him in Portuguese, who taught him to do that.

"Oh Dennis Lillee."

It was all part of the action from the recent Brazil 20/20 Championships involving teams from Brazilian cricket's three main centres, São Paulo, Curitiba and the host, Brasilia and, for the first time, the national women's team.

The women have only been at it for a couple of years, having played their Argentine counterparts in a couple of series, and reportedly made quite an impression at their debut this year at the Americas women's titles in Florida.

The best batsman in Brasilia among the women’s teams was Juliano Brito, who scored 73 runs in three innings. And, apparently, she can send down the occasional quick one. Also, bowling against the blokes was Narayana Reinehr, who took the most wickets (six in three matches) with her accurate medium pace.

The ladies' two wins and third place were impressive enough for the women's team to score an invite to next year's edition. They finished ahead of Brasilia, the newest of Brazil's three cricket centres. Observers felt the fact every run they scored earned them two in no way diminished their achievements.

So São Paulo and Curitiba met in the final, São Paulo notching up 206 before dismissing Curitiba for 127. Man of the Tournament and national captain, Matt Featherstone, a former Kent Cricket Board player, led the charge for São Paulo with 72, supported by Warwick Heaney (39).

That 13-year-old was Thassilo Weber, who while living next door to one DK Lillee in Perth, apparently learnt a thing or two about fast bowling. Hopefully he'll pass that on to the 20 or so born in Brazil involved in the bash on the Esplanada, among the curious on-lookers, ice-cream sellers and American Football players.

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Posted by Varun Persaud on (October 8, 2009, 19:29 GMT)

I look forward to more cricket being played in South America as currently Guyana is the only country that plays cricket from the continent. Mainly because we were ruled by the British and speak English so are more associated with the Caribbean than South America. Imagine teams from Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, etc joining and playing in the regional tournament with the West Indian islands.

Hopefully the day will come when the rivalry between Brazil and Argentina will no longer be limited to just Football.

Posted by colin macbeth on (October 5, 2009, 7:17 GMT)

It's typical that Cricinfo is the main source of news and that cricket, as in Africa, is widely ignored by the local press. But come 2016, this should all change! Good on the Brazilian women - and the Argentine ones too!

Posted by tony on (October 4, 2009, 6:16 GMT)

I love to see the brazil and argentine women's team.They will challenge everyone in the near future.Go teams!!

Posted by mustafa on (October 2, 2009, 22:37 GMT)

Its good to know that cricket has reached South America ... but why isn't there a men's team?

Posted by Brazil cricket fan on (October 2, 2009, 11:21 GMT)

Thanks to Cricinfo for continuing to promote cricket in Brazil. Maybe one day the Brazilian media will give cricket the same attention!

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