Men’s Softball World Cup - One Month To Go: New Zealand captain Cole Evans expecting ‘exhilarating crowd’ in Auckland

Men’s Softball World Cup - One Month To Go: New Zealand captain Cole Evans expecting ‘exhilarating crowd’ in Auckland
26/10/2022
"Softball supporters are some of the best in the world, especially in New Zealand,” said Evans.

Minutes after the New Zealand Black Sox team for the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup was announced on Whakaata Maori TV, team captain Cole Evans spoke with teaomāori.news about the Men's Softball World Cup to be played in on home soil from 26 November to 4 December.

Playing as the home team could represent additional pressure for the seven-time champions, but Evans says they will be in the best position with the support they will receive from New Zealand fans. “I don’t think it’s any pressure. We’re at home, playing in front of our families, our friends, that’s a good environment.

“I was there in 2013 [the last time the World Cup was played in Auckland] in the crowd, and it’s an exhilarating crowd. Softball supporters are some of the best in the world, especially in New Zealand.”

Asked about New Zealand's first game against No. 5 Czech Republic, which will open the tournament on 26 November Evans said the European champions are a good team and will be well respected. “Good pitching, good hitting, and they are above us in the world rankings so it should be a good opener. They’ve given us a run in the last few World Cups, so I’m really looking forward to it,” he added.

Evans, who will be joined by his brother Rhys Evans on New Zealand’s World Cup roster, was named captain of the team in June 2020. Since then, the Black Sox hasn’t played an international game. “It was a bit of an awkward situation, to be honest. But I’m really looking forward to captaining the team in that first game of the World Cup,” he said.

New Zealand will face Argentina, the top ranked team in the world, in Group A as well looking for revenge after losing to them during pool play in 2019. “Argentina is a quality side, they are the defending champions. It’s an awkward position for us, we normally arrive as favourites, but I think it’s a good position for us coming as underdogs. 

“We’re working-class men who just get out there and battle, that’s what we’re really looking forward to doing.”

Listen Cole Evans interview at The Global Game, the podcast of the WBSC.