New Delhi [India], December 7 (ANI): A historic occasion is set to take place as MLB India is in readiness to host MLB Cup, a youth tournament for the first time in India from December 10-12, 2021.
The MLB Cup is conducted in each of the countries in which Major League Baseball has a presence in. The event demonstrates MLB's commitment to youth development and is a part of the League's larger initiative to have significant growth in participation levels for baseball in the country. India is one of the 6 international markets in which MLB operates.
A total of 12 teams from across the country will compete in the inaugural edition of the tournament taking place in Gurugram, Haryana. The tournament is comprised of four teams from Maharashtra, two from Madhya Pradesh (Indore), two from Kerala, one from Hyderabad (Telangana), one from Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir), one from Delhi and one from Puducherry.
MLB India always has an endeavor to provide opportunities to baseball players from all corners of the country. Each of the 12 teams will include 12 players, and 2 coaches and 2 chaperones will also accompany each team during their stay in Gurugram. In line with its core principle of providing equal opportunities, MLB Cup 2021 will witness boys and girls play together for the same team. The 12 teams competing in the tournament include Satara Blue Jays, Pune Angels, Malappuram White Sox, Pondicherry Mets, Kolhapur Braves, Malappuram Tigers, Indore Red Sox, Delhi Dodgers, Ahmednagar Athletics, Indore Pirates, Hyderabad Cubs and Srinagar Rockies.
Speaking about the MLB Cup 2021 Ryo Takahashi, Business Development Manager from MLB India said, "Investing in the future of our game has always been a focus of ours and towards this goal, we are excited to host the inaugural edition of the MLB Cup in India this December. Coming out of COVID, it was important for us to provide a platform for children in this country to play the game, have fun and experience something that will hook them to the sport. We hope this is the start to a long-lasting tradition and can serve as an example to the baseball community."
A treat awaits the aspiring baseball players as the participants of the MLB Cup 2021 will have a chance to interact with Dinesh Patel, who became one of the first Indian born athletes to sign a contract with an MLB club when he signed a contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization in 2008. He will be in attendance as a guest in the opening ceremony and will also throw out the first pitch of the event. Rick Dell, Baseball Development Director, MLB Asia-Pacific Region will also grace the event.
The participants of the MLB Cup 2021 will be provided with accommodation and to and fro travel to Gurugram from their hometowns. The teams will also be provided with meals, uniforms and equipment during their stay in Gurugram.
Major League Baseball has put in a lot of effort to grow the game of baseball in India since 2019. MLB India initiated the MLB First Pitch grassroots program, which has given a fantastic opportunity to primary school children to understand and grasp the sport with guidance from MLB International coaches. MLB India also conducted online coaching and training lessons for baseball coaches to develop the game of baseball in India. (ANI)