Here is a summary of what to anticipate from the six teams competing in Group B, which will be held in Auckland from the 26th of November to the 4th of December. The best three teams from each group will proceed to the Super Round.
11 of the top 12 teams in the WBSC Men’s Softball World Rankings are scheduled to compete against one another during the XVII WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup, which will be held at Rosedale Park in Auckland, New Zealand, from the 26th of November to the 4th of December. The tournament will last for nine days and will determine the winner of the title of world champion.
Due to the fact that six of the top 11 nations in the World Rankings will be competing against each other in Group B for the three available slots in the Super Round, it is anticipated that the games will be very close and that the competition will be quite difficult.
World No. 2 Japan is the top seeded nation in the group
They are bringing eight veterans from the 2019 team that won the silver medal. These veterans include the two aces of the pitching staff, Reo Koyama and two-way player Hikaru Matsuda, who was named the 2019 WBSC Softball Player of the Year. In its 16 prior appearances in the Men’s Softball World Championship, Japan has won two silver medals (2000 and 2019) and one bronze medal (1996). Japan’s ultimate goal is to win the championship for the very first time.
The Canadian national team will be headed by pitcher Sean Cleary and outfielder Brad Ezekiel, as well as seven additional veterans from the 2019 group that won the bronze medal. Canada has won the world championship four times. Canada is tied for first place with New Zealand as the most successful medal winner in the history of the competition with 13 medals, missing out on the podium only three times (the last time in 2013, in Auckland).
In Australia’s pursuit of a fifth World Cup medal, the most experienced players on the Aussie Steelers squad will be Adam Folkard and Nick Shailes. Both of these players were vital members of the Australian side that won the World Cup in 2009 and will continue to serve in that capacity. Jack Besgrove, Riley James, Jack Burt, and Matthew Harrow are all making their first appearances with the team at the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup. The squad ended in seventh place in the most recent iteration of the competition.
After failing to qualify for this competition in the Americas Qualifier, No. 9 Venezuela was given the opportunity to compete in it thanks to a wild card. The Venezuelan team has participated in the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup nine times, including the previous eight iterations. Lefty Erick Urbaneja and catcher Rafael Flores are the veterans on the Venezuelan squad. Urbaneja will compete in the World Championship for the seventh time. Venezuela has only ever won a total of two medals in the past: a bronze in the 2013 competition that took place in Auckland, New Zealand, and a silver in the 2015 competition that took place in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Kim Hansen, Jens Terkelsen, and Lukas Lohmann, the three pitchers representing Denmark in the 2019 Men’s Softball World Cup, are all set to compete in another tournament with their national squad. The red and white squad, which is now rated No. 10 in the world, made it to the semifinals of the European Championship 2021 as the second team and now has their sights set on qualifying for the World Cup playoffs for the first time in their eighth attempt.
South Africa, now ranked 11th in the world, will represent Africa in the X Men’s Softball World Cup in 2000 after claiming victory over Botswana in the championship game of the African Championship. South Africa hosted the tournament. Tidima Kekana is ready to participate in his fifth World Cup and will be the seasoned voice in the South African dugout.
Kekana was the South African pitcher who was responsible for the majority of the pitching staff’s workload in the most recent two editions, which took place in 2017 and 2019. The Men’s Softball Cup has been held 10 times, and South Africa has participated in all of them. Their highest finish was eighth, which they achieved in 1976 at Lower Hutt.
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