Samba and leather on willow are not usual bedfellows but Frogmore Cricket Club have been enjoying some Latin flair this season thanks to an overseas guest.

Felipe Lima de Melo is a name you might assume is the next Brazilian wonderkid to grace the football pitches of the world.

But Felipe has chosen a different path after falling in love with cricket.

Originally from Rio de Janeiro, he dreamed of leading Botafogo to glory and playing for the national team. But during a tough time in his life, he suffered from insomnia and began to watch Sri Lankan and Indian cricket on late night television.

He looked into the game and found a small but growing league in his home country and after a season watching Carioca Cricket Club, he took the plunge and began to play, taking a shine to spin bowling and refining his batting technique.

Last summer he spent some months in Australia to experience cricket there before arriving on these shores in February looking for a club.

He spotted Frogmore CC advertising and was immediately made to feel welcome.

"I am so grateful to the club for taking a chance on me," he said. "I’ve learnt so much here, experiencing the different games and pitches has been amazing.

"The social side of this team is fantastic, we have players from around the world but we are all united in the spirit of competition, having fun and playing cricket."

Club captain Ian Hurst said: "Felipe’s passion for the game is incredible and his arrival has brought a fresh impetus to the team.

"We were a young team that now has members who are getting older, settling down with families and life commitments.

"Felipe and the other new players have really helped this season. We’re looking forward to welcoming more new faces to Frogmore in the future."

Frogmore reached the final of the Herts Village T20 Trophy and the Last Man Stands Regional Playoffs but despite some inspired bowling by Felipe, he took 26 wickets overall with best figures of 4-17, the Frogs finished the season without silverware.

Home now beckons for Felipe but there is no limit in the future for the Brazilian.

He said: "I’m looking forward to returning to Brazil and applying what I’ve learnt this season with Frogmore at Carioca.

"If I keep progressing I would love to push myself towards national team selection."

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