History beckons for the Brazilian Women’s Cricket Team at the upcoming ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Americas qualifiers in September 2021.
In what will be Brazil’s first appearance at an ICC event since 2012, they will be taking on Argentina, Canada and USA in a combined Americas qualifying tournament. The winner will clinch a spot in the eight-team global qualifiers, with the top two finishers from that event progressing to the 2023 T20 Women’s World Cup in South Africa.
To assist them in their quest for World Cup glory, they have recruited Tatiele de Carvalho, who is one of the country’s most decorated athletes. The 31-year-old’s list of achievements certainly make for impressive reading. She has won the national 10,000 metres competition a staggering 11 times, competed in three World Championships and was a finalist in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.
Tatiele hails from Poços de Caldas, the epicentre of Brazil’s cricketing revolution, and reaching out to her was a no-brainer for the national cricket board. She graciously accepted Cricket Brazil’s request and has been taking time out of her busy Tokyo Olympics preparation schedule to help the women’s team; both on and off the field.
Speaking to Brazilian Times, Tatiele described how her weekly technical training sessions are geared to improve fitness, speed and agility of the female cricketers.
“My job, in addition to teaching the technical aspects of running, is to inspire them and help them believe that they can also be Olympic and world champions,” she said.
“Every day I can encourage them because they can look at me and think, ‘If she can do it, so can I.
“I can show them that women can change the world too; women can also reach the top, as I did in an Olympic final. They can achieve everything they dream of.”
Matt Featherstone, coach of the Brazilian Women’s Team, is pleased with the results and credits Tatiele for the improvement in fitness outcomes for the women cricketers.
“The results are starting to show, with three players on the team having lost up to 10kg in the last six months and others now showing a greater focus and sense of responsibility,” he explains.
Despite their inexperience, Brazil will start the tournament as favourites. They are ranked higher than all the other teams in the Americas qualifier and last year climbed eleven places to 27th from 38th. They were also crowned ICC Global Development award winners recently in recognition of their developmental efforts, alongside Argentina, Uganda and Vanuatu.
Top 20 Goals and Crowdfunding Campaign
Making it to the Global Qualifiers is just the first step for the women. With the expansion of ICC Women’s T20 World Cup to 12 teams from 2026, making it to the World Cup proper will become a more realistic goal for upcoming teams such as Brazil.
Featherstone and his team are also aiming to crack the Top 20 Women’s T20I Rankings within a two year timespan. Such an achievement would unlock considerable funding for a sport, which currently receives no government assistance. What would dramatically change this dynamic is Olympics inclusion.
In a previous chat with Emerging Cricket, Featherstone had outlined how an annual appropriation of $500,000 USD would be forthcoming from the government, if cricket became an Olympic sport. Till that eventuates, the board is forced to seek other sponsors and run crowdfunding campaigns. The money raised will allow the board to take cricket to more cities in Brazil, in addition to investing in infrastructure, equipment, team and logistical conditions for competitions in and outside the country.
“The more funds we can raise, the faster we can make the sport grow in Brazil,” Featherstone says to Brazilian Times. “It’s not just about cricket; we also do a lot of work in schools and in communities, providing not only an escape route from the all-too-common pitfalls of inequality, but also the chance to attend university, represent your country around the world and even develop professional, salaried careers.”
Donations can be made to the crowdfunding campaign here.
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