The World Baseball Classic, which was set for March of 2021 has been canceled due to the Coronavirus. The event was set to be held at locations in the United States, Japan, and Taiwan. Sources tell ESPN Deportes reporter Enrique Rojas that the tournament is unlikely to return until 2023.
"The tournament was canceled. It is not the priority right now," a source told Rojas.
"The WBSC-sanctioned World Classic is jointly organized by MLB and the MLB Players Association, with whom we are in constant contact," the WBSC said. "Together with the MLB, we periodically review the status and any possible changes in the tournament in general, and also, currently, due to the security measures implemented regarding the coronavirus pandemic."
Sixteen teams had already secured their spot in the 2021 WBC: Australia, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Korea, Mexico, Puerto Rico, United States, and Venezuela.
While Brazil, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, New Zealand, Panama, Philippines, Nicaragua, Pakistan, South Africa, and Spain were among the remaining teams vying for the remaining spots. The remaining qualifier event that was scheduled for March was previously postponed due to the pandemic.
The United States are the defending World Baseball Classic champions, defeating Puerto Rico in the 2017 finals.