The 30 members of the Cuban national team who will participate in the WBC (World Baseball Classic) to be held in March have been announced, and many players who play in Japanese professional baseball, such as Softbank pitcher Moinero, were selected.

The Cuban

Baseball Federation announced on the 25th the 30 members of the national team who will participate in the WBC

. Chunichi pitcher Rydell Martinez, who won the title, and Rodriguez, who also won the title of best middleman in Chunichi, and

the powerful relievers who are active in Japanese professional baseball.

The fielders include

Nippon-Ham's Ariel Martinez, and

slugger Despaigne and Gracial, who belonged to Softbank until last season, and other players familiar to Japanese fans.

In addition, players who defected

from Cuba and played in the major leagues were allowed to participate for the first time in this tournament

. Robert players entered.

The Cuban national team will face Taiwan, Italy, the Netherlands and Panama in Group A in the first round, and could face Japan in Group B in the quarterfinals as soon as possible.

The Cuban national team is known as a “baseball superpower” with three gold medals at the Olympics, but their highest achievement in the WBC was their second place finish in the first tournament in 2006, when Japan won the championship. Lost in round.

In preparation for this tournament, a training camp was held in Havana, the capital city, from the 15th of this month to gather candidates for the national team, and we are quickly making adjustments to come back.

Major league players do not participate in the training camp due to league regulations, but players belonging to domestic leagues, Mexican leagues, and Japanese professional baseball teams are participating, and NHK interviewed on the 23rd. I complied.

Despaigne, who will be participating in the WBC for the fourth time, said, "It feels strange to play against my former teammates, but I'm really looking forward to playing at the WBC. Ohtani, Darvish, Kondo, and Kai are all good players. So it's difficult to choose a player to watch," he said with a smile.

Chunichi pitcher Rydell Martinez said, "Some of the players from the major leagues are former teammates, and it's like a family reunion. I want to create a great teamwork."

Nippon Ham player Ariel Martinez, who will be participating for the first time this time, said, "Being a Cuban national team has been a dream since I was a child, so I'm really looking forward to it and I want to win. I know Japanese players, so I think it would be wonderful if we could play against the Japanese national team."

The Cuban national team is scheduled to depart for Japan on the 2nd of next month and play warm-up games against Chunichi, the Giants, and Softbank.