Australian team seeking to join Taiwan's professional baseball league

2018/09/04 16:43:08 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
CPBL Commissioner John Wu (吳志揚, right) and  ABL Chief Executive Cam Vale

CPBL Commissioner John Wu (吳志揚, right) and ABL Chief Executive Cam Vale

Taipei, Sept. 4 (CNA) The Australia Baseball League (ABL) on Tuesday submitted a proposal for one of its teams to play in the Taiwan league in the 2019 season as an expansion team.

The proposal is for the team to play two seasons in the minor league of the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) before ultimately joining its regular season games, ABL Chief Executive Cam Vale said in a meeting in Taipei with CPBL Commissioner John Wu (吳志揚).

In response, Wu said he welcomed the proposal but could not give an answer then to the question of whether an Australian team would be allowed to join the CPBL's regular season games or when.

He promised to raise the issue at an upcoming meeting of the CPBL board of directors and standing committee and said all factors would considered before a decision is made.

The six-team ABL, which was founded in 2010, is one of baseball's recognized winter leagues, with its season running from November through February, a period that is summer in Australia. Many professional Taiwanese play in ABL teams as part of their winter training during the off season.

The 29-year-old CPBL, meanwhile, has had four teams since 2009 and has been considering expansion. Over the past few years, several local enterprises have expressed an interest, but none have taken the plunge yet.

The Okinawa Prefectural government of Japan had also expressed interest in assembling a professional baseball team to compete in the CPBL.

According to CPBL regulations, the entry fee for a new team is NT$120 million (US$3.9 million), plus a NT$360 million security deposit and an additional NT$100 million for the promotion of little leagues in Taiwan.

(By Joseph Yeh)
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