Paulo Vítor Campos’s article – Sport Poços

Cricket bats produced in Poços will win the world

In July, Mantiqueira reported on the recently launched “cricket bat factory” in Poços de Caldas. These were the first attempts to produce the material in the city. Before that, tacos only arrived here from Europe. Thinking of alternatives, trainer Matt Featherstone managed, by chance, to discover Luiz Roberto Francisco, a retired man who started working in carpentry as a pure hobby. Since then, the scenario has changed and material production in the city has gained momentum. The dream, which is very close to being realized, is that very soon Poços de Caldas will be the headquarters of the only cricket bat factory in Latin America, being responsible for supplying the material to the whole world.

The perfect wood

The material used for the manufacture of the main tacos used in the world comes from the willow tree, a wood that is not found in Brazil. According to Matt Featherstone, as soon as the pandemic is over, he will go with Luiz Roberto to look for a wood similar to the willow tree and start producing tacos for professional teams in the city and the world. “Brazil is a country very rich in wood and I am sure that we will find the material we need. After that, our factory will be responsible for supplying clubs to the major leagues in the world, ”said Featherstone.


While not finding the necessary raw material for making professional tacos, the material produced in Luiz Roberto’s workshop is being made available to serve the city’s various projects. Currently, these projects are stalled due to the pandemic, but as soon as they are released, students will have a quality club in their hands to practice the sport. “Before, the difficulties to buy these clubs to meet the projects were enormous and today this demand is being solved in a very homemade way and with the quality we need. For the student of a project, having material like this in hand would be very difficult, but thanks to Luiz Roberto’s work as an artist today, it has become much easier to serve these children and teenagers ”, said Matt. “We solved an important issue, but we are looking for the perfect wood and hope to find something better than willow, wood used in the world of cricket for almost 200 years,” he continued. Matt Featherstone predicts that in two or three years Poços de Caldas will become a world center in the production of cricket bats. “We want to win the world and make even more history in Brazilian cricket. Before we didn’t have enough players in our project and today we already have teams at a great level that leave Poços de Caldas. Then there was a lack of equipment and with our club we solved this problem more, now it is taking this to the world and making the city a great hub ”, said Featherstone.


Matt says that the discovery of joiner Luiz Roberto was a fluke. He needed wooden benches to place one of the headquarters of the cricket projects, in this case the Associação Atlética Caldense, and was introduced to Luiz Roberto by a friend. “After a conversation, we came to the workshop that he used as a hobby and we had the idea of ​​making clubs. He showed himself to be a person of great vision, saw that it was a project with a great future and offered to try to produce the clubs, ”said Featherstone.


Cricket in Poços de Caldas and Brazil has been growing a lot in recent years and part of this growth is due to the work of Matt Featherstone. For Luiz Roberto, who entered the project in this important phase of the sport, it is an opportunity to help in an area where the sport was lacking. “I knew very little about this sport and I didn’t know anything about what it would be like to make a club. After contacting Matt, we talked, he explained everything to me, talked about the needs and we decided to work together. It was a great challenge that I accepted, we ran after material, we studied the ways to do everything, equipment, and we managed to reach a correct point of production. A project that I really like because of the challenge. I am retired, I do carpentry as a hobby and surprisingly it has become an important business for many people and with this I am very proud to be part of it all ”, said Luiz Roberto. “Being the pioneer in the production of cricket bats in Brazil is a situation that fills me with honor,” he continued.


Luiz says that the production of a taco takes an average of 10 hours. The entire process is done in the workshop with all the stages of production carried out using your machines. The work is very handmade with Luiz starting production on raw wood, which is being molded according to the design given by Matt Featherstone. On wood for the production of professional tacos Luiz Roberto said that he has the help of friends in the search for the material. “I believe that we will find a better wood than the willow. I have friends who travel a lot, know Brazil a lot and are helping me. I must receive a sample soon that we will analyze. As soon as we find what we need, we will search until we find it ”, concluded Luiz Roberto.

The search

According to Featherstone, as soon as the material is found they will hunt for the perfect wood. “Of course it will be a long-term process, but we are in no hurry, as we know that we will find the dreamed wood that will start to be used worldwide,” he said.


The report spoke to Brazilian national team athlete Lara Bittencourt, who was discovered in the cricket project carried out at Colégio Municipal. Today she is one of the main athletes in the sport and speaks of the facilities that beginners can have with quality material for the practice of the sport. “It took me a long time to have my club, it was not a quick process to have quality material to train. Producing the material in Poços is a great idea that will help a lot of people who will not need to wait for a taco from another country to arrive. The people who are starting on the projects will have a great opportunity and with that the chances of showing potential and growth in cricket tend to be faster ”, said Lara.

The athlete is training with the Brazilian women’s team for important competition disputes in 2021. She says that the work is being very good and will leave the team well prepared for the championships. “We are working intensely and with a lot of motivation and I believe that we will have good chances to represent Brazil well”, concluded Lara.

The return

Matt says that with the pandemic the projects carried out in Poços de Caldas, São João da Boa Vista and Aguaí have almost four thousand practically stopped. He says that the cricket teachers are prepared for the return and as soon as the training and the return to normal are released, the cricket will again move these young people. “Unfortunately, a situation that we still don’t know for how long it is going to drag on, but we are prepared for the return. When everything comes back we will work harder to make up for lost time, ”said Matt Featherstone. He says he has already talked to the mayors of the cities involved and they said they need to wait a little longer until the situation is eased.