The Mumbai Cobras, India’s first professional baseball franchise, will have the first pick and the honor of selecting the first player in the history-making Baseball United’s official draft d on Tuesday, September 19 in Cincinnati.
Baseball United is the first-ever professional league focused on the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent which will be held at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium from November 10-12.
The draft will consist of eight rounds, with eight players selected in each round. Baseball United’s founding four franchises will make two selections per round.
All the players selected will have professional baseball experience, many of whom have played at Major League Baseball level.
The 64 players will team up with a group of 16 prospects from India, Pakistan, and the Middle East to compete in the Dubai showpiece.
The prospects will be announced later this month.
There will be 13 position players and seven pitchers per team for the Showcase.
“There are so many aspects of our league that we are excited about, but the expanded opportunities for players may be at the top of the list,” said Kash Shaikh, Baseball United, Chairman, CEO, and Majority Owner. “Our draft represents the first step to providing a means for professional players to extend, expand, and evolve their careers.
“Many of the top professional baseball leagues have contracted over the years, limiting the chances for guys to compete at the highest levels of the sport.,” Shaikh added.
“Baseball United is a new frontier within the Bat and Ball epicenter of the universe and headquartered in one of the most exciting cities on the planet. We can’t wait to bring our new players and coaches to Dubai.”
The Baseball United Draft will begin at 11 am EST/7 pm (UAE), with the first two rounds livestreamed on baseballunited.com.
After the Mumbai Cobras, the Karachi Monarchs, Pakistan’s first-ever professional baseball franchise, will have the second selection, followed by the league’s two UAE-based franchises, the Dubai Wolves and the Abu Dhabi Falcons, respectively.
The Wolves and Falcons are the first professional baseball franchises in the history of the Arabian Peninsula.
Baseball United chose to host its inaugural Draft in Cincinnati, Ohio, home of its North America headquarters and the birthplace of professional baseball. The Cincinnati Red Stockings, founded in 1869, were the first professional baseball franchise in history.
“I was born and raised in Cincinnati and spent my entire 19-year playing career with the Cincinnati Reds,” said Barry Larkin, Baseball United, Executive Vice President of Growth Strategy and Co-Owner.
“I have a deep love for this city, and I’m very excited that Cincinnati now has an opportunity to transport our history, heritage, and passion for baseball to the other side of the world.
“The city that was home to the first Major League Baseball team more than 150 years ago will now play a key role in architecting the first professional teams in India, Pakistan, and the Middle East. That’s pretty cool,” he added.
Shaikh will announce the first 16 draft picks, with Larkin, Baseball United Executive VP of Baseball Operations, John Miedreich, and former New York Yankees All-Star and Baseball United Co-Owner, Nick Swisher, among the presenters.