Pakistan baseball team leaves for Taiwan


KARACHI: The Pakistan baseball team is aiming to bounce back from its drop in the world rankings at the 27th Asian Baseball Championship scheduled to be held from September 16-20 in Taiwan.

Pakistan Baseball Federation president Syed Khawar Shah, upon the squad’s departure on Sunday, told The Express Tribune that they were relieved at finally being given the rights to take part in the event after being made to sit out two editions due to issues within the Pakistan Baseball Federation regarding parallel bodies.

“Last year all the major baseball events were held in Europe, which is why European teams went up in the rankings and we dropped from the 24th spot to the 21st. This year is ours and we are sure that we will manage to make a comeback,” said Shah.

Besides Pakistan and the hosts — ranked fourth — the world’s top team Japan, eight-ranked team South Korea, 21st-ranked China and 38th-ranked Indonesia will also be taking part in Taiwan.

“We are currently sixth in the Asian rankings and we are optimistic of jumping two spots through the championship,” said the president.

The players have been training under head coach Musaddiq Hanif since July and ended the final phase of their camp on Saturday, where they were also joined by Japanese coach Toma Irokawa.

Shah added that their hopes of qualifying for the 2016 World Baseball Classic Championship were also pinned on their rankings and thus it was important for them to do well in Taiwan.

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