In the wake of the March 2nd decision by World Baseball Softball Confederation (WSBC) authorities to push back the final qualification tournament for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, there is now talk in Taiwanese baseball circles that the domestic baseball organization, the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) may start the 2020 season with limited numbers of fans allowed into stadiums to watch the games.
As of 2:45 pm, Tuesday March 3rd, however, no decision has been made confirming or denying this possibility according to sources.
The WBSC six-team tournament had been scheduled for the first week in April over a long holiday weekend in Taiwan, but on the back of a statement released by the WSBC that said “After consulting with medical and governmental authorities, a joint decision by the WBSC and the local organizing committee was taken to postpone the event” Taiwan along with Australia, China and the Netherlands will have to rearrange their own domestic seasons to allow for the WSBC decision.
The rescheduled games are now to take place between June 17th and 21st, with the remaining two teams to play to be decided after a late March qualifying tournament in the Americas.
As such, in-sync with the WBSC announcement the CPBL confirmed yesterday that the season opener, between the Rakuten Monkeys and the Taichung based Brother Elephants, Taiwan’s most popular team, scheduled for March 14th will now be played on March 28th at the earliest: a move directly attributable to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and in line with similar sporting decisions across east and southeast Asia.