Junior Cricket Taking Off in Brazil's Interior

Fri, Dec 16, 2011 2:50 AM

Junior Cricket Taking Off in Brazil's Interior
The small city of Poços de Caldas, in the interior of Minas Gerais state, lies far from Brazil's main cricket centres of Brasília, São Paulo, Curitiba and Rio de Janeiro. Until recently, cricket was unknown here, but thanks to Brazil senior men's captain (and local resident) Matt Featherstone, the Poços de Caldas junior development program is putting the city on the country's cricketing map. Offering ideal weather and plenty of open spaces to teach cricket, Poços de Caldas is a great place to learn cricket. Throughout the second half of 2011 Matt and his team of dedicated volunteers organized a group of 50 kids aged 8-14 to have practices every week, which culminated on December 10-11 with the Poços de Caldas Junior Cricket Festival, which brought four mixed teams together for their first-ever tournament. Held in a city park, the T20 event drew plenty of spectators and media coverage, including a live TV broadcast. Although the matches were highly competitive, above all they were played in a spirit of sportsmanship and participation. In a fantastic gold medal match Ednan Dias XI made 78 for 7 in 20 overs, and then bowled out Casa do Menor XI for 74 in the 18th over. The program will continue to work with its four core teams in 2012, but due to the infectious enthusiasm of the players the organizers hope to add two more teams by the middle of the year.

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