ESPN sources have revealed that the 2021 World Baseball Classic will be cancelled and may not appear again until the 2023 edition. Several of the Bahamas’ top minor league players were expected to compete for Team Great Britain in the WBC Qualifiers in March next year.
#By RENALDO DORSETT
#Tribune Sports Reporter
#The COVID-19 pandemic continues to force cancellations throughout the baseball world with the 2021 World Baseball Classic reportedly the latest casualty.
#According to ESPN, sources revealed that next year’s event will be cancelled and may not appear again until the 2023 edition.
#Several of the Bahamas’ top minor league players were expected to compete for Team Great Britain in the WBC Qualifiers.
#There are currently 20 Bahamians in minor league baseball.
#The official roster announcement was just days away from release before the pandemic originally brought sports to a halt, but several players had already confirmed their participation with the programme.
#The WBC was scheduled to be hosted in March 2021 and was set to expand to a record number of 20 teams and hosted in three countries – Japan, Taiwan and the United States.
#Bahamian baseball players have been on the roster for Great Britain at the last two editions of the qualifiers and both sides looked to continue that relationship at this year’s event at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Arizona, in March.
#Great Britain was set to compete in Pool two, March 20-25 against the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Panama, Philippines and Spain.
#Pool one was scheduled for March 12-17 and included Brazil, France, Germany, Nicaragua, Pakistan and South Africa.
#Sixteen teams had already secured a berth in the 2021 WBC – Australia, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Korea, Mexico, Puerto Rico, United States, and Venezuela.
#Liam Carroll, manager for Great Britain, said the success of having Bahamians on the roster has been vital in the growth of the programme.
#With Richardson and Cartwright on the roster, Great Britain went 1-2 during the 2013 Qualifier played in Regensburg, Germany, where it debuted in the WBC.
#The highlight of their tournament was a 12-5 victory over the Czech Republic.
#And at the 2017 Qualifiers in Brooklyn, New York, Richardson and Cartwright were joined by Ali Knowles, Jazz Chisholm, Kyle Simmons, Todd Isaacs, Reshard Munroe, Byron Murray and Champ Stuart.
#That team finished just one game shy of WBC qualification when they suffered a 9-1 loss in the final.
#Bahamian players are eligible to compete for Great Britain once their parents were born in the Bahamas while it was still a British colony, prior to Independence.