Major League Baseball eyes return to Australia

Melbourne (AFP) –


America's Major League Baseball has set its sights on returning to Australia for a series of games with the head of their global strategy saying: "We're interested and our owners are interested."

The nation hosted the widely-acclaimed 2014 Opening Series between Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks, with the Sydney Cricket Ground transformed for the occasion.

MLB's senior vice president international Jim Small said Australia would be on the agenda of the sport's collective bargaining agreement starting 2022.

"We'll have a decent chance, in that next play plan hopefully, to play games in Australia, if we're invited, and if we find the right partner to do it," he told the Melbourne Herald Sun Thursday.

"We had a wonderful time in Sydney, I love Sydney, it's an amazing place, but I can still love Melbourne.

"If we have an opportunity to participate, we would be honoured to do it," he added. "We'd have to work through all the details ... but we're interested and our owners are interested."

Baseball Australia chief executive Cam Vale said he was excited by the prospect.

"Jim's support wanting to see baseball grow in Australia has been evident throughout my time, and he has kept us informed on this exciting possibility," he said.

Playing games abroad is seen as critically important to growing baseball internationally, with showcase matches in a host of countries over recent years, including Japan and Mexico.