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Taiwan to host Premier 12 baseball tournament

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan will be hosting the inaugural Premier 12 baseball tournament in 2015, the nation's baseball association told local media yesterday after Japan decided to drop the opportunity to host the international baseball event.

Chinese Taipei Baseball Association (CTBA, 中華棒協) Secretary-General Richard Lin (林宗成) told local media yesterday that Taiwan was originally hoping to join hands with Japan to host the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) Premier 12, a senior tournament involving the best 12 teams in the world, next year.

But following a Japanese media report earlier this week that said Tokyo has decided not to do so, Lin said now it is “100 percent for sure” that Taiwan will be hosting the event by itself.

According to Lin, IBAF President Riccardo Fraccari, who visited Taiwan last week, was in Taipei to consult with the CTBA on whether or not Taiwan is ready to host the major baseball event.

Fraccari said in Taipei that there was a 99.9-percent chance that the Premier 12 will be held in Taiwan and the event will be sponsored by the CTBA.

Lin said that as one of the most reliable partners for the IBAF, Taiwan has been working closely with the organization to host international baseball tournaments since 1999.

Taiwan also successfully hosted the 2013 World Baseball Classic in March.

The CTBA head expressed confidence in being a perfect host for the games next year.

According to the CTBA, the IBAF Premier 12 is to be launched to replace the Baseball World Cup, a tournament in which national baseball teams from around the world compete. The Premier 12 will happen every four years.

The debut Premier 12 is scheduled to be held in November 2015, after the conclusion of professional baseball seasons in most countries.

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