Canberra, ACT: The Australian Baseball Federation announced earlier today the Australian provisional for the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Of the 28 players and 8 coaches named to the team, two are home grown talent from the ACT, Steve Kent and Michael Collins. The World Baseball Classic will take place from 2 to 19 March across three rounds at international baseball venues around the World.
This is not the first time Kent has represented Australia at a national level. Most recently, in 2011 Kent played for team Australia in the International Baseball Federation World Cup. Kent also played in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Qualifying tournament as well as the Under 17 and Under 19 World Championships.
Kent has been on the radar of manager John Deeble and was on the bubble of qualifying. He described what he his reaction when he was given the good news.
"A lot of relief and very excited about getting out there and playing against the world's best," explained Kent. "I found out last night and was not allowed to tell anyone until it was officially released."
Kent joins the 20 other Australians currently playing in the ABL.
"Once you put on the green and gold everyone comes together," added Kent. "It doesn't matter if you've played against each other in the past when you are in that Australian uniform everyone is united and playing toward that same goal."
Cavalry head coach Michael Collins was also named as a coach for Team Australia. Like Kent, Collins has represented Australia at a number of different levels as a player and now as a coach. This will not be the first time Collins dawns the green and gold for the World Baseball Classic; in 2006 and 2009 Collins was named to the Australian National Team as a player.
"People always consider us underdogs. We feel like we are a lot better than we get credit for and we want to out there and prove it to the rest of the world," said Kent.
The Australian National Baseball Team has participated in both the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic, but as not advanced past Round one. Most recently, Australia finished fifth in the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup. This year the for the World Baseball Classic, The Australian National Team will be placed in a Round One pool with Chinese Taipei, Korea, and the Netherlands.