Fourteen central contracts will be offered to Brazil’s national women’s players in 2020, allowing them to train and play cricket full-time, it was announced by Cricket Brazil on Thursday.

Since being granted T20 International status by the ICC in 2018, the team is currently undefeated in all 10 T20Is played across the South American Championships in 2018 and Central American Championships in 2019.

Despite a cricketing history that goes originates in the mid-1800s, it has been a development programme first launched in Poços de Caldas in the 2000s, a city around 150 kilometres north of São Paulo in southeast Brazil, that has jump-started the local cricket scene, which has since grown to other cities. The Association’s award-winning projects centre around empowering youth through cricket, where young players are presented with coveted ‘black shirts’ as they progress to become leaders of the programmes themselves; which now boast almost 3,700 junior participants with plans to hit 5,000 during 2020.

Matt Featherstone speaks about the development programmes in Brazil

As part of Cricket Brazil’s new strategic plan for the growth of cricket in the country, and made possible by sponsorships by Biotreat (a water treatment company) and Guarita (a hamburger restaurant chain from São Paulo) the decision will allow the 14 women’s players the opportunity to train and play five times a week under the guidance of the National Team Coach in preparation for the next raft of ICC Qualifying events and other regional championships.

The Brazil Women have won four of the past five South American Championships, a fact that the Association lauds as not being “possible before Brazil invested heavily on larger participation and a greater structure in Cricket on upskilling coaches, improving pathways and increasing National leagues on all levels”.

“We know that The Brazilian Ladies have the ability to play at higher level, we are just going to provide them with the opportunity. I really think the Ladies have the potential to put Brazil on the map globally. This is very exciting times for Cricket Brazil,” said Matt Featherstone, President of Cricket Brazil.

The centrally contracted players will also be heavily involved in Brazil’s ongoing development projects.

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