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World Baseball Classic to be postponed till 2023

/ 04:07 PM May 12, 2020
world baseball classic

FILE – In this March 21, 2017, file photo, Japan’s Hayato Sakamoto makes a catch on a ball hit by United States’ Buster Posey during the fourth inning of a semifinal in the World Baseball Classic in Los Angeles. The World Baseball Classic will be postponed from 2021 to 2023 because of the new coronavirus, a person familiar with the planning tells The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Monday, May 11, 2020, because no announcement had been made. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)

Next year’s World Baseball Classic has been postponed due to disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, ESPN reported on Monday.

The March 9-23 tournament was due to take place in the United States, Japan and Taiwan.

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The fifth edition of the tournament was due to have featured an expanded field of 20 teams, with the 16 teams that participated in the 2017 tournament joined by four qualifiers.

However, qualifiers due to take place in March were postponed indefinitely after the coronavirus crisis erupted.

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The postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has also complicated the scheduling of the World Baseball Classic as planned.

Baseball is due to return to the Olympics in Tokyo, but World Baseball Classic organizers doubt the feasibility of staging both tournaments in the same calendar year.

Scheduling in 2021 is also complicated by the fact that the tournament is part of Major League Baseball’s existing collective bargaining agreement, which expires in December 2021.

ESPN reported that the Classic might not return to the sporting calendar until 2023.

The United States is the reigning World Baseball Classic champions after their victory in 2017.

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TAGS: Baseball, Coronavirus Pandemic, COVID-19, Sports, World Baseball Classic
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