After historic showings of Pakistan’s National Baseball Teams competing in the WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup 2016 and World Baseball Classic 2017 Qualifier, the Pakistan Baseball Federation (PFB) and government authorities have their sights on further raising the nation’s international baseball profile.

With support from the Pakistan Federal Government, including the military, PFB recently conducted trials for 200 athletes in FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) with the goal of selecting 20 athletes who will be invited to train at the Pakistan Youth Baseball Academy in Lahore.

This latest baseball boost in Pakistan follows a decision by the federal government of Pakistan to expand the development of baseball, both domestically and internationally.

“We recently conducted trials for the selection of players, and it was good to see that 200 players of U-15 age appeared in it,” said PFB President Syed Khawar Shah. “Through baseball, we can provide a platform to the youth to channelise their energies in a positive way.”

The 20 selected athletes, who will be hoping to represent Pakistan at future international competitions, will not only receive training to improve their baseball skills, but they will also benefit from free education, boarding and lodging.

As part of an overall strategy to promote peace and improve society through sport, President Khawar was extremely appreciative of the efforts from the federal government to support the programme.

“We are thankful to the people of FATA for sending their children to appear in the trials, and we are deeply impressed to see the hidden talent and potential of the players.”

Athletes at the Youth Academy will train and vie for positions on Pakistan’s U-15 national side. The PFB is targeting entry into the Baseball Federation of Asia’s U-15 continental championship, which serves as a qualifier for the U-15 Baseball World Cup 2018.

Leveraging the WBSC Baseball World Ranking system — earning points across U-12 to Pro National Team competitions — Pakistan robust international baseball activity has seen the nation rise to its current ranking of No. 24.