Paulo Vítor Campos’s article – Esporte Poços

finally 2020 is ending. An atypical year that will be easily forgotten due to the difficulties faced by the new coronavirus pandemic. The sport in general did not escape chaos and saw important competitions, such as the Olympics, being canceled. Speaking of the Olympics, Brazilian cricket is going through a great phase and is claiming a place in the 2028 games, so this year the national team was expected to be important in this preparation. The pandemic did not leave and hampered the training of the female team, which now sees in 2021 the primordial year for the evolution of the group.

Mantiqueira talked to Matt Featherstone. After the restrictions were eased and group training was released, he brought the entire women’s team to train in the city. According to him, this facilitated the integration and preparation for the season that is just beginning and that will have important games for the Brazilian team. Check out Matt’s conversation with Mantiqueira.

Productive 2020

Matt does not regret the lack of games and few training sessions in 2020. According to him, with all the difficulties faced, the year ended up being productive and many things happened behind the scenes and these events strengthen the group in the fight to be among the best in the sport.

“Of course, we haven’t played any games outside of Brazil, no major championships have been played, either in Brazil or abroad, but our cricket has grown a lot in 2020,” said Matt.

He points out that Brazil managed to be the first country in the world to have a contracted team training together. “We set up a structure that teams much larger than ours do not have,” he said, noting that the Brazilian women’s team has exclusive doctors, among other specialized professionals who take care of the entire team.

“We have partnerships with doctors, with the Mantiqueira newspaper, which has been doing a very good job of publicizing our cricket, the city of Poços de Caldas embraced us, several companies in the city are together with us in our projects, that is, we have assembled a team that we really believe will make a difference in the various world championships that we will face “, said Matt.

Cricket in Poços is supported by Alcoa, Caixa Econômica Federal, NGO Citizenship and Housing, Associação Atlética Caldense, Municipality of Poços de Caldas, Hotel Minas Gerais, Municipal Electricity Department, Caixa Econômica Federal, Clínica de Fisioterapia Humanus, Duson. Laboratory Dra. Tânia Medicina Diagnóstica and ICC Mundial.


Among the achievements in the year highlighted by Matt is the new headquarters located in the Country Club, next to the mesh field. The site is the stage for the training of the Brazilian team and also the administrative headquarters of the cricket Poços. The site was handed over to cricket at the beginning of the year and throughout the season several improvements were made.

“We had a budget that was destined to travel during competitions and as these trips did not happen we invested this money in the improvements to our headquarters. I always highlight the achievements of cricket that each year grows more within Poços de Caldas and our plans are to expand beyond We have already had conversations with mayors from different cities in the region and they are very interested in taking the project to their cities. This just hasn’t happened yet due to the current pandemic situation, if it weren’t for this we would have cricket projects in at least other three cities. God willing this covid will be leaving soon and everything that was planned for 2020 will happen soon. What happened was just a postponement of things, “said Matt.

World Championship

Matt says that the main focus at the moment is to build the Brazilian women’s team well for the world championship. He points out that making a good participation in the competition is fundamental to the sport’s plans in the coming years. The competition takes place in September and before that the team will hold several preparatory matches.

“We will have games in Argentina, Germany, the United States and also the South American Championship. Important games that will give a very good baggage to our girls for the biggest challenges that lie ahead.

In 2020 we did not have a perfect preparation due to the lack of away games, against strong teams, but on the other hand it was perfect in terms of strategy, of tracing the easiest paths to follow in order to pursue our goals “, says Matt.

Accustomed to long journeys for a good part of the year, Matt says that this year he spent more time in Brazil and with that he managed to structure the women’s team the way he wanted. He brought a trainer from England, Liam Cook, who spent a good deal of time with the female team in Poços de Caldas, and this trainer managed to implant his style of play to the Brazilian team. “It was a very different year, but I can say that it was very profitable for our girls. We tried to fix all the details, correct all the problems so that 2021 is a perfect year for the Brazilian team.


Matt highlights learning in a year full of restrictions. When the team could not meet to train with the ball, they met virtually for conversations and improvements in English.

“We talked a lot, which doesn’t happen a lot when we are training with the ball. Then, with the space open for training with the ball, we managed to do the main thing again, which is the game itself. It was a bad year for everyone, but we did it, somehow take advantage “


As Matt has already said, the season highlights the world championship. Before, the team must participate in preparatory championships every three months. The team will compete in the Americas Championship, which will bring together Brazil and Argentina, rivals in practically all sports and in cricket this rivalry is no different. Then, the team participates in a friendly competition against Germany.

Matt says that despite being friendly, these games against the Europeans will count points for the world ranking. Currently, Germany is the twenty-fifth in the world and Brazil is the twenty-seventh. If the Germans win, Brazil will change positions with them. The Brazilian goal is to be among the top 20 in 18 months.

Still in 2021, Brazil will face France and in September it will go to the United States against the strong local team. Matt points out that this match against the North Americans is treated as the most important in the life of the girls of the Brazilian team.

“In these games our girls will have the chance to show the world what they are capable of. They will have the chance to show what we are doing, how we are training, our moves. It will be a great showcase for our team,” he says.

He points out that on paper the United States has the best team, but Brazil has a chance to get there and surprise. He points out that if Brazil achieves a victory against powerful opponents it will change the level and earn great respect in the world of cricket.

If they want to live well from the sport, they will have to win these games. They will have more respect, their lives will change and that is why everyone is aware of the importance of these games against the United States.

Of course, if they don’t win it won’t be the end of the world, but it’s important to play well, then they’ll have other chances, but winning now would be indescribable “, continued Matt.

Men’s team

With the women’s team very competitive and seeking positions among the best in the world, Matt spoke about the men’s team and how the work with the team is going. He says that the larger work has been developed with the under-17 and that the boys have been divided into smaller groups and are training very well. According to the professor, the team would have this year the dispute of the South American Championship in Rio de Janeiro, but the competition was not held. The expectation is that it will happen in 2021.

“We have good hopes for this men’s team, but the under-17 team has no world competition, which happens only in the under-19 team. Our goal is to stay with this team until they reach their age and with the relationship they have acquired, they can make a good world cup. in two years, “he said.

Matt highlights the quality of the boys and believes that in a year and a half Brazil will have a very strong team also among men.

“The athlete does not need to be in a specific place to be a good player. He can be Brazilian, German, English, American, if he has talent he will succeed in the sport. In addition to talent he needs to have a lot of dedication and that our boys have They are dedicated and want the sport to work in their lives and we are here to help “.


Matt also spoke about the projects carried out in Poços de Caldas. 4,210 children practice the sport in several centers spread across the communities, but in 2020 there were no activities. “Many people involved annually with cricket in Poços de Caldas, we have 12 people attending colleges thanks to the projects, but, unfortunately, since March everything has stopped. We hope that the vaccine will soon be available to Brazilians and that in 2021 activities will return in full force ”, said Matt, who has even bigger plans for the projects.

He wants to increase the number of practitioners and reach the end of the year with more than six thousand children playing cricket in the city. Matt says the project aims to bring cricket to 25,000 people across the region.


Matt says that by taking cricket to all the communities in the city, it is possible to help with a serious problem faced in the neighborhoods, the lack of conservation of public space. According to him, with groups using the sites, the tendency is for a decrease in vandalism.

“In a conversation with the vice-mayor-elect Júlio César Freitas, we addressed exactly this point. We want to occupy the city blocks, often abandoned, and make them pleasant places again. Why not take a little positive energy with the sport? This is what we want to do with cricket and I believe that other modalities can also occupy these spaces with interesting projects ”, said Matt.

Secretary of Sports

Matt also talks about politics. Having his name probed in the middle of the year as a possible Sports Secretary, he believes that he can do more for the sport in his current role, teacher, coach, leader, talent revealer and supporter.

“In the future, it would be a pleasure to play a political role in favor of sport, but now the time is to focus on the goals outlined for the Brazilian team and for the projects. Poços de Caldas has enormous potential, it is a pleasant city and it has all the possibilities of being polo in several sports. Few cities in the region have our sports structure. There are courts, soccer fields, in short, many squares, which, of course, need improvement, but we have ways to make these improvements through partnerships ”, said Matt.

He cites the Country Club as an example of a place that could become a modern sports center in the city.

“We have a headquarters there, but I see a great potential there that needs to be explored. We have tennis courts, aquatic complex, futsal courts, fields, in addition to a wonderful place, very beautiful, but little used. No city has a place like this, a jewel that is not used. The Country is able to host swimming, tennis, football, volleyball and basketball projects, among others, and to add a large number of people. I think the focus of the city has to be to use what is best and Poços de Caldas sports is a paradise ”, said Matt.

He points out that while many cities need to create new places to take sport, Poços de Caldas has plenty of good places, just create projects for these places.

“I have been in Brazil for 20 years and today I see that the sport here is being valued more nowadays and we need to take advantage of that. Sport is the way to get young people off drugs and keeps them out of hospitals because of health problems. Few people live on the sport, but a multitude is contemplated by the good things it brings to their lives ”, added Matt.