Girls from São Sebastião Cricket Club will compete for the first time in the National Women's Championship, this weekend, at Clube Nipo, in Brasília

Matter by Maria Eduarda Cardim

The team is made up of students from the project and athletes who defended national teams
Despite being confused with bet and little practiced in the country, in recent years, cricket has gained a good space in Brasilia. Even though small and slow, it is possible to observe the evolution of the sport in the city. In the National Women’s Championship created in 2013, only two teams participated until last year: one from the federal capital and the other from Poços de Caldas (MG). In 2017, the news is that another team from Brasilia will participate in the first stage of the tournament, scheduled for this weekend, at Clube Nipo, in the Clubs South Sector.

The São Sebastião Cricket Club is the youngest of the competition. The team was born from a social project implemented in 2015 in public schools in the Administrative Region. The program, which teaches the sport to children and adolescents, is a partnership between the Sports Department and the Education Department. With that, last year, a local association was created to develop cricket in the city. From there, the desire to form a team of its own arose.

The base of the team composed of 11 athletes is formed by students of the project. To complete, veteran competitors who were without a team returned to play and are now part of the group. Four of them have already represented Brazil, like Elisa Carvalho, 43 years old. Idealizer of São Sebastião, she played for Brasília Cricket Ladies and for the Brazilian national team. “The team was born from a social project, from ex-athletes who want to help and with a great desire to take the sport to a community that is further away”, she explains.

Elisa says that the idea is that one day the girls in the project will form a team of their own, without the need for reinforcements. “We want athletes to leave here for the Brazilian team,” she says. According to Cricket Brasil – the association that regulates sport in the country – the women’s team has already been formed entirely by brasilienses. At the last call, there were five competitors from the city. From the capital, two women’s and one men’s teams compete in the national league. It is in the plans to create a male team from São Sebastião later this year.

In training, the mission is to get all the girls together in one place. To practice, they meet in the Vila Olímpica de São Sebastião, in the gymnasium of a school in the region provided on weekends and in the Esplanada dos Ministérios. As they are from different places, the players only managed to reconcile their training in February. Despite the nervousness and anxiety for the team’s first challenge, the girls are willing. “It will be our first experience, but we expect to make competitive games. Our idea is to be in the final on Sunday (tomorrow) ”, hopes Elisa.


The luggage that is lacking in the newcomers, remains for the veterans. In addition to Elisa, an important reinforcement in the team is the team captain. The only foreigner in the group, Chilean Jeannette Garcés, 32, knows that her first participation in a dispute is always difficult. She was a technician for the Brazilian women’s national team and won the South American title. “In addition to winning, we have long-term goals because we know that the team is starting to build and will grow,” she says.

Jeannette got to know the sport during college in Chile. She never lived in Brazil, but she has already worked at Brasília Cricket Ladies. “I was playing for the Chile team when I met the girls from Brazil at a championship,” she recalls. When the selection of her country ended, she was invited by the Brazilians to defend the team from the federal capital. “I have committed myself to the sport here and I come three to five times a year to play and follow.”

Distant professionalism

Creator of São Sebastião, Elisa Carvalho says that of all sports, cricket is the one that least requires a single type of practitioner. “It doesn’t matter if the person is tall, short, chubby or thinner, each function calls for a characteristic,” she says. Physical fitness, says the athlete, is not so important. She started playing at 39, after seeing a report from the Correio about a championship that was going to take place in the city. “I had not been doing any sport for 10 years. I started to practice and, after a year, I was playing for the national team ”, she recalls.

Despite the rapid evolution, in Brazil, the practice has a hobby characteristic. Even the proper equipment, although simple, is not found in the country. “Sport would not be expensive if there were equipment.” The ball, the bat and even the wicket (made of plastic) are imported.

The club that Elisa imported from England cost the equivalent of R $ 800. The athlete points out that it is good equipment, but not the best. Thus, the luxury of having an object of her own does not exist, and she shares it with the children in the project. “We wanted to produce for the boys to play on the street. With a bat of their own, they could practice outside of class, ”she argues.

Meet cricket

Cricket arrived in Brazil at the end of the 19th century, when the British came to work on the country’s railways. The sport on the American continent is still little known. It has been practiced more in countries that were British colony. Australia, Pakistan and India are some nations with numerous practitioners. In Brazil, there have been reports of games since 1872. The Brazilian Cricket Association (ABC) was created in 2001 and, in the following year, joined the International Cricket Council (ICC). In addition to the DF, São Paulo, Paraná, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais are associated with ABC.