Pakistan will participate in a European baseball league for he first time, a five-match series in Tuscany, Italy that starts from July 26.
The national youth team will play against South Africa, USA and Italian clubs in the XXIII International Baseball and Softball Tournament ‘Citta Dl Arezzo’ Tuscany Series.
According to team coach Musadiq Hanif, just taking part in the tournament was a huge achievement for the youth team as it will help them get international exposure.
“It’s a historical move primarily because we’ve only played in Asian tournaments before,” Hanif told The Express Tribune. “I’m excited because it’s my first European tournament as coach but I have realistic expectations. We will be playing the best teams in the world but I’m hopeful of results against the club sides.”
Meanwhile, captain Abdul Momin wants the players to improve in order to make an impression in Tuscany. The squad has been training for almost six weeks and their participation in the event was jeopardised due to a delay in an NOC being issued, the confirmation of which was made a week ago.
According to Momin, baseball is still growing, in Pakistan particularly, and players were coming from cities like Sialkot, Faisalabad to take up the sport seriously.
Momin hoped that, as baseball had its similarities with cricket, young players would be attracted to it and the Tuscany series will play a huge role in keeping the current players in the squad as they will get to represent the country internationally.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2012.