HAVANA, Cuba.- The Cuban and US baseball federations signed a letter of intention that includes the celebration for the first time in 16 years of training matches between the respective national teams.
During a press conference at the Havana city’s Latinoamericano Stadium, directives announced that a US team made up of college students will arrive on July 4 to play a five-game match against the Cuban national team.
Antonio Castro, vice-president of the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) said today was a day of joy for those who love the sport, since the agreement will benefit both countries.
These matches, to be played on yearly basis, will contribute greatly to the training of the Cubans in the face of their participation in the Third World Classic, to be held in March 2013, since they need to play against better teams to improve their performance and be more competitive in the international arena, he added.
The Cuba-US matches started at the end of the 1970s through 1996, therefore this Letter of Intention picks up a very beneficial experience that could be spread to other baseball-related activities, said Paul
Seiler, Executive Director/CEO of USA-Baseball.
Seiler has headed this institution that regulates the participation of the US in international events. He pointed out there is great enthusiasm for the recovery of these matches against Cuba, which he dubbed as a reference point in baseball.
He added this match will be a good training for both teams that will participate in the Haarlem Baseball Week next July 13-22, along teams from Puerto Rico, Japan, Chinese Taipei and the host team.
In July 2013, the match will take place in the US, months after the III World Classic.