Baseball United Announces Partnership with the Amateur Baseball Federation of India (ABFI)
The two organizations will partner together to drive player development, fan engagement, and community involvement across India
Published May 11, 2023
Dubai, UAE (May 11, 2023) - Baseball United, the first-ever professional baseball league focused on the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent, announced today an exclusive partnership with the Amateur Baseball Federation of India (ABFI). The agreement will enable strategic integration of the two organization’s growth plans, with a focus on player development, national team training, fan experience, community outreach, and government relations. ABFI is internationally recognized by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) and is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year.
ABFI is the umbrella organization to 26 affiliate associations across six regional zones in India, stretching from Punjab to Kerala in the north and south, to Gujrat and Assam in the east and west, respectively.
“We are honored to partner with ABFI to help grow the game of baseball in India,” said Kash Shaikh, President, CEO and Co-Owner, Baseball United. “Our organizations have many shared goals, including increasing the opportunities for young athletes across the country, and elevating the play of India’s National Team. We believe India has the potential to be one of the world’s great baseball nations, and we’re committed to investing our time, expertise, and resources to help facilitate that growth. I’m very grateful to Mr. M N Krishnamurthy, President, ABFI, and Mr. Harish Kumar, Secretary General, ABFI, for their partnership. We are excited to get to work.”
Baseball United began its grassroots work within the region earlier this year, sponsoring and broadcasting the West Asia Cup in Islamabad, Pakistan. At the conclusion of that tournament, Baseball United hosted the first-ever “Unity Classic”, a friendly exhibition between Pakistan and India. It was the first time in history that India’s national baseball team played against Pakistan’s national team on Pakistani soil. Moving forward, Baseball United will work to ensure the most talented players and prospects in India compete for the national team, as well as help bring sponsors and revenue to bolster ABFI’s yearly operations and impact.
“We are very grateful to Mr. Kash Shaikh and Baseball United for their leadership, vision, and support,” said Mr. Kumar. “ABFI has worked tirelessly for four decades to try and grow the game of baseball in our great nation. Now, with the help of Baseball United, we not only have a new professional baseball league to help inspire more players to take the field, but we also have an expert partner to help teach the game. We are looking forward to building together in the months ahead.”
In addition to Shaikh, Baseball United’s ownership group includes Major League Baseball Hall of Famer’s Barry Larkin from the Cincinnati Reds and Mariano Rivera from the New York Yankees, as well as other legends such as Adrian Beltre and Felix Hernandez. The league began signing players earlier this month and will host with its inaugural Dubai Showcase this November. The Showcase will feature the league’s first four franchises, the first of which will be announced on Monday, May 15, 2023.
About Baseball United
Baseball United is the first-ever professional baseball league focused on the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent, beginning play November 2023 in Dubai, UAE. Our mission is to inspire one billion new fans to fall in love with baseball. The ownership group includes award-winning business leaders and inspiring baseball legends, including Mariano Rivera, Barry Larkin, Adrián Beltré, and Felix Hernandez. In addition to our professional league, the Baseball United ecosystem spans youth development, federation partnerships, media and content production, merchandise, and non-profit outreach. With over 30 nationalities represented on our team rosters and a new suite of entertainment-based game changes, Baseball United is working to create a new future for baseball in one of the fastest growing and most culturally rich regions in the world.
Allison Baker, VP BSB Group International – firstname.lastname@example.org, 513.607.0911