Hall of Famers in push for baseball in cricket-mad region

by | Jul 28, 2022 | Sports

BRISBANE, Australia — Two Hall of Fame baseball players are leading a push to bring the sport that made them famous to India, Pakistan and the Middle East.Former New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera and ex-Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin are the familiar faces behind the United International Baseball League. The UIBL plans to bring professional baseball to an area of the world more associated with another bat-on-ball sport — cricket.The league will begin with an inaugural showcase tournament in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in February next year. Further plans for the location of teams and their personnel are still in the works.The League said in a statement that the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East region are home to two billion people “and more than 900 million of those people are fans of cricket.”“While baseball exists in small pockets across south Asia and the Gulf . . . there is an absence of professional leagues and a void of deep, grassroots player development expertise and infrastructure,” the statement added. “The UIBL team is looking to change that.”The Panama-born Rivera spent his entire career with the Yankees over 19 seasons from 1995 to 2013, primarily as a relief pitcher and closer. He made 13 All-Star Game appearances, won five …

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