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Philippine Baseball Coming for World Qualifier in Sydney

The national teams from Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines and South Africa will compete in the six-game, four-day Qualifier at Blacktown International Sportspark from 11-14 February 2016, with the winner qualifying for the 2017 World Baseball Classic to be held in March 2017.

Following the success of the 2014 Major League Baseball Opening Series at the SCG, Sydney will once again host a major international baseball event. Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events and Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres announced today a 2016 World Baseball Classic Qualifier will be held in Western Sydney.

Developed and operated in partnership by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association, and sanctioned by the World Baseball Softball Confederation as the sport’s official ‘World Championship’, the World Baseball Classic (WBC) is the world’s premier international baseball tournament featuring some of the best players on the planet representing their respective nations for the title of World Champion. Superstars such as Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz have competed in previous WBC events.

The event will mark the first time a World Baseball Classic event has been held in Australia and only the second time Team Australia has played on home soil since defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks and losing a close game to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exhibition games at the 2014 Opening Series.

Team Australia is currently ranked 14 out of the 124 baseball playing nations recognised by the International Baseball Federation.

“Baseball Australia, in conjunction with our partners Baseball NSW and the Australian Baseball League are extremely honoured and excited to be staging this prestigious event,” said Baseball Australia CEO, Brett Pickett. “We are grateful to World Baseball Classic Inc. for providing us the opportunity and to Destinations NSW for their support, and we look forward to putting on a world class event for all participants and fans.”

Over three World Baseball Classic tournaments, 22 Team Australia representatives have played at the major league level in the US and 37 Australians are currently under contract with an MLB club.

Baseball Australia (BA) is the governing body for all levels of baseball throughout the country. Primarily responsible for the development of the sport; administration, conduct, participation, high performance and promotion.

BA works with seven (7) State and Territory associations and 600+ clubs across the country. BA also acts as the international liaison and represents Australian Baseball at all International forums. They are a major stakeholder in theAustralian Baseball League (ABL); the national league delivered in partnership with Major League Baseball (MLB).

Meanwhile, Major League Baseball (MLB) is the oldest professional sports league in the United States and consists of 30 member clubs in the U.S. and Canada, representing the highest level of professional baseball. MLB is the best-attended sport in North America, and the last decade includes all 10 of the best-attended seasons in MLB history, with each regular season eclipsing the 73 million mark. Now led by Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr.,

MLB currently features record levels of labor peace, competitive balance and industry revenues, as well as the most comprehensive drug-testing program in American professional sports. MLB remains committed to making an impact in the communities of the U.S., Canada and throughout the world, perpetuating the sport’s larger role in society and permeating every facet of baseball’s business, marketing and community relations endeavours.

MLB is supported in its mission through presences in Beijing, London, New York, Santo Domingo, Sydney and Tokyo. With games broadcast in more than 200 countries and in 20 languages, and a robust roster of marketing partners and licensees across the world, MLB has become a truly global game.