Believe it or not, Bangladesh has held contested a men’s national baseball championship each of the past seven years and Friday’s title match marked the tenth time a team has been crowned. Although the sport was only introduced to the South Asian country in 2006, growth since 2014 has been significant and the men’s national team has won a game in both tournaments in which it has played.
This year’s tournament, which following the standard three-day, two-group, single-elimination format, was billed as the VII Walton Men’s National Championship. In reality, it is the seventh since the federation came out of dormancy in 2014. It featured the usual powerhouse teams of Bangladesh Police and Bangladesh Ansar (a uniformed service in charge of security), perennial contender Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishtan (BKSP, the National Sports Institute), and regulars Dhaka District. Playing for the first time since 2014 was Solaiman Sports Club, while Savar Community Club made its second consecutive appearance. Sand Angel Baseball Club followed its women’s debut this year with its men’s debut.
Groups and opponents were chosen by lot, though the Police and Ansar teams were almost certainly assigned to separate pools. BKSP was grouped with Ansar, which feels like the spot for a No. 3 seed. There were no surprises in the group rounds or semifinals, with BKSP’s 9-0 loss to the Police showing how far other clubs are behind the uniformed services teams. Savar did earn its first win ever, though.
Although previous Police-Ansar finals have been nailbiters (9-8 in 2018, 4-3 last year), the Police jumped out early and coasted to a 19-4 victory. It was the club’s third-straight title in as many attempts. In fact, in three national championships and two friendlies, the Police have never lost a game in 11 tries and have outscored opponents 13-2 on average. Ansar are hardly chumps, having battered other teams 93-7 in its other six games, but the rest of Bangladesh has a long way to catch up to the Police.
Make sure to give the Bangladesh Baseball-Softball Association a like on its regularly updated Facebook page [link].
Dhaka Commerce College (DCC)
BD Police 11 – DCC 0
BD Ansar 10 – SSC 0
Savar Community 6 – Sand Angel 2
SKSP 14 – Dhaka District 0
Semi: BD Police 9 – SKSP 0
Semi: BD Ansar 16 – Savar 2
Final: BD Police 19 – BD Ansar 4
Photo copyright BBSA.