Poços de Caldas (Brazil), May 31 (IANS) Baseball may appear to be the sport closest to cricket but it is Taco’s similarity to cricket that has brought Brazil onto the cricket map.
Back in the 19th century, British expatriates brought cricket to the South American country. Though cricket couldn’t take off, its off-shoot Taco gained prominence in this town.
The game of Taco, also known as Bats, comprises four players in each team — two batters and two fielders. It has stumps laid on the ground similar to cricket except that they meet at the top. The crease is a full circle drawn around stumps, instead of the box-type in cricket.
Runs are accumulated by running between two sets of stumps. There is stumping as well as run-out.
According to sportingnews.com, “It (Poços de Caldas) is also the location of a quiet but remarkable revolution in the cricket world.” It is thanks to the popularity of Taco.
Roberta Moretti Avery, who used to play Taco in her childhood days in Poços de Caldas and later spent some time in England, has now graduated to become the captain of the Brazilian women’s cricket team.
“Cricket overall for me has been a big learning curve because I came from individual sports, the more you train, the more you put into it, it benefits my thing and I always used to do my own thing all the time. In cricket it’s different, you have to grow with your team, you put your work in but your team grows together with you,” she told sportingnews.com.
Matt Featherstone, who moved to Brazil from England in 2000, is the one who started a cricket association in 2001. He realised that women’s cricket could gain prominence in the country.
“It just happened that the ICC, at the same time, were looking to expand cricket worldwide,” Featherstone was quoted as saying by the website.
“They were looking at their 100th anniversary in 2009 and then started actively looking for new members for new associates and affiliates in 2005, 2006 and we fell perfectly into that.”