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Standard of softball is ‘unbelievable’, says New Zealand National Team captain Cole Evans in latest WBSC podcast

Standard of softball is ‘unbelievable’, says New Zealand National Team captain Cole Evans in latest WBSC podcast
27/04/2022
Host Tyler Maun interviewed Evans in this month’s edition of The Global Game, the WBSC Podcast. “I cannot think about more competitive sort of international scale, really. You’ve got seven or eight teams that are tunning up for the World Cup with a legitimate chance to win.”

Cole Evans, the captain of the New Zealand Men's National Softball Team, the 'Black Sox', was the guest of this month’s edition of The Global Game, the WBSC Podcast. Host Tyler Maun talked with Evans about the status of international softball, the 2022 Softball World Cup to be played in New Zealand, the experience of being named captain of the Black Sox and much more.

Evans said that being able to play a World Cup is ‘massive’, but doing it on home soil is super exciting. “And I’m sure the rest of the softball world is also excited to see some international softball to be played again,” he added.

The shortstop said the standard of softball is unbelievable, and he expects a very competitive tournament in Auckland. “You think about some other world sports and I cannot think about more competitive sort of international scale, really. You’ve got seven or eight teams that are tunning up for the World Cup with a legitimate chance to win.

“Obviously Canada is a great side; Japan and Argentina played the last final...you throw also the Aussies in the mix; Czech Republic in Europe are outstanding... and then you have Mexico, these kind of battling teams in the Americas that are very good also. So there are so many teams that are legitimate contenders. For the softball world in general, and especially the men’s game, it's super exciting.”

This will be Evans’ fourth senior World Cup. He made his debut in 2015, earning a silver medal in Saskatoon, Canada, at 17, and two years later was a member of the 2017 winning team in Whitehorse, Canada. In 2019, he was New Zealand’s everyday shortstop in the WBSC Men's Softball World Championship in Prague, where the Black Sox finished fourth.

In spite of the final result, Prague was very cool for Evans. “Being able to play softball in Europe was pretty awesome. We don’t go to these kind of magic cities very often, so to go to Prague was something else.” 

Evans: The 11th captain in Black Sox history

Evans was named Black Sox captain after Nathan Nukunuku’s retirement, a role that has been held by legends like Jarrad Martin, Rhys Casley and Mark Sorenson. “There have been great captains come before me,” Evans said. “I don’t like to talk too much, I just try to lead by example the best I can...If I can lead by example on the field, I think the job is done.”

The Black Sox infielder also said they are lucky to have some experienced guys in the team, like Ben and Thomas Enoka, Joel Evans or Josh Pettite who have been there with the team in the last three or four World Cups. “For me, as a captain, it makes it a lot easier.”