A new international tournament has been announced for 2018, as UAE will host the West Asia Cup from March 26-April 1. It was a surprise addition to the calendar as the Cup is usually contested in odd-numbered years, though the schedule has been somewhat unpredictable.
In the 2017 edition, Sri Lanka shocked the baseball world by defeating Pakistan in the final. Iran took third over Nepal and Iraq claimed fifth. Both Sri Lanka and Pakistan advanced to the Asian Baseball Championship, where they finished seventh and sixth (respectively) out of seven nations.
India was originally scheduled to participate, but withdrew due to visa issues as Pakistan hosted. India should be able to play in the 2018 edition as they were granted visas to take on Pakistan in the first annual Dubai Cup in December, which Pakistan won handily.
The West Asia Cup has been contested in 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2017. Nine Asian Cups were played between 1995-2010 before the competition split into east and west. Pakistan has sent teams to cups since 1995, while India and Iran have been involved irregularly since then. Sri Lanka has competed since the fifth edition in 2002, while Nepal played for the first time last year. The only other West Asian countries to ever participate in an Asian baseball cup are Afghanistan (2010, 2012, 2013) and Uzbekistan (2001, its only international action). It is doubtful that either appears.
The Emirates will host a baseball event for the second time, the first since the Dubai Cup.
We have updated our master schedule for all 2018 international baseball events (link). Worth noting that the Under-23 Oceania Championship was meant to be happening now but appears to have been cancelled.
All photos copyright Extra Innings UK.