International baseball is on its way to Bendigo.

BENDIGO will play host to world class baseball when the Australian Emeralds take on the might of Japan across the Queen’s birthday weekend in June.

Two squads containing Australia’s best female athletes will do battle with a Japanese All-Star Team at the Bendigo Baseball Association, with the event held in conjunction with the Bendigo Baseball Umpires Association, the Bendigo Baseball Association, Baseball Victoria and the Greater Bendigo City Council.

This event serves as preparation for the upcoming 2018 Women’s World Cup which will be held in Florida during August, and gives our top-level Emeralds an invaluable opportunity to emulate the high intensity situation of tournament baseball in their own backyard.

Australian Head Coach Simone Wearne said hosting such an event in regional Australia was vital, especially in a great baseball city like Bendigo.

“The Bendigo council have been very supportive,” Wearne said.

“Bendigo has a great reputation for hosting sporting events and the council and the local baseball association representatives have helped us plan what is set to be a great event.”

Baseball Australia chief executive officer Cam Vale said he was excited to bring top level international baseball to Bendigo.

“This significant event is multi-faceted, providing significant benefits to a number of key stakeholders,” Vale said.

“To provide the Emeralds with an opportunity to participate in high level match play and bring international baseball to a key regional centre is vital to the development of baseball in Australia.”

Greater Bendigo tourism and major events manager Terry Karamaloudis said council was thrilled to welcome the Japanese and Australian women’s baseball teams to Bendigo, for what would be a great display of elite women’s sport for our community.

“This will be the sixth Australian women’s representative team here in Bendigo in the last few years. We are gaining a reputation as a destination for elite sporting matches and we are keen to see that continue.”