With seven nations competing, the event represents the largest tournament of its kind in the region’s history
ISLAMABAD, Jan. 27, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Baseball United, the first-ever professional baseball league created to serve the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent, announced today a partnership with Pakistan Federation Baseball to help grow and develop the game across the region. The first stage in the partnership is focused on hosting the West Asia Cup, an official WBSC baseball tournament being held today through February 1st in Islamabad, Pakistan.
The West Asia Cup will include teams from Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, and Palestine. The Pakistani team, ranked 43rd in the WBSC global rankings, opened the tournament in the kickoff game with a 17-0 victory over Afghanistan. Games will stream LIVE – free of charge – beginning Saturday, January 28th, exclusively at BaseballUnited.com.
“We are excited to partner with Pakistan Federation Baseball to help drive more awareness, engagement and excitement for baseball across the region,” said Kash Shaikh, President & CEO, Baseball United. “While our professional league is the crown jewel of our platform, the Baseball United ecosystem extends into grassroots development, federation partnerships, and professional training. We know we have to continue to teach and share the game with more people for them to fall in love with it. The West Asia Cup is a great first step. With our league working with federations like Pakistan, we believe America’s Pastime can soon become the world’s game.”
Baseball United will launch its international league with a four-franchise showcase in Dubai in November of this year. However, the league’s training programs, international scouting, and player development programs have already begun. The seven West Asia Cup teams represent a population of nearly two billion people, with over 80 million avid baseball fans across the area. According to survey data from UK-based market research company, YouGov, that number of avid baseball fans is larger than those in the United States and Canada combined.
“We are very grateful to Baseball United and their leadership team for all of their support,” said Syed Fakhar Ali Shah, President, Pakistan Federation Baseball, and Vice President, Baseball Federation of Asia. We are proud of the growth of baseball in Pakistan, and this year’s West Asia Cup is a testament to that progress. Now, with Baseball United’s help, we know we will be able to better develop our players and raise the level of our competitions. Our vision is to have the top players from each of the countries in our region playing in Baseball United’s professional league. Personally, I can’t wait to see the first Pakistani professional baseball player in Baseball United.”
Baseball United’s ownership group includes Shaikh, as well as baseball Hall of Famer’s Barry Larkin and Mariano Rivera. The league will begin signing players to its official rosters in late February.
The top two finishers at the West Asia Cup will advance to the Asian Baseball Championship in Taiwan, a qualifying tournament for the Baseball World Cup.
To view the full team rosters, schedule, games, and results from the West Asia Cup, and to learn more about Baseball United, visit baseballunited.com.
About the Baseball United
Baseball United is the first-ever professional baseball league created to serve the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent. Our mission is to inspire two billion new fans to fall in love with baseball. The Baseball United ecosystem includes youth development, federation partnerships, media and content production, merchandise, and non-profit outreach. With over 30 nationalities represented on our team rosters and a new suite of game changes, Baseball United is working to showcase a new future for baseball. Learn more at baseballunited.com.
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SOURCE Baseball United, Inc.