Softball Association to host visiting teams

Cayman hosted a Cuban side in 2017.

Friendly rivalries are set to blossom as softball teams from Cuba and Jamaica visit for the Cayman Islands Heroes Day Invitational Tournament later in January.

This comes a year after a historic series between the Cayman Islands national men’s team and a Cuban side from the Isle of Youth. It was the first time in more than 20 years that a team from Cuba came to Cayman to play.

“What we are trying to do is to make this a yearly event. Last year, it was our first year and we believe it went fairly well with good support and well attended. I think this will also maintain the ties of friendship that we have,” said Marlon Thomas, a player/coach for the Cayman team, who is among the organisers of the event.

Making the trip this time around will be male teams from Cuba and Jamaica and a female team from Jamaica.

“Interestingly, there are a lot of people who are not aware that Jamaica has a good level of softball – male and female. Jamaica has been very involved in softball,” Thomas said, adding that the Cayman Islands Softball Association has hosted Jamaican teams in the past and also travelled there in the early 2000s.

Games will be played at Field of Dreams from 18-23 January. They are slated to start at 6:30 p.m. on weeknights and 1:00 p.m. on the weekend.

Marlon Thomas and Eduardo ‘Dito’ Lawrence share a moment after the series.

“It is not just about the games but the friendship that has developed over the years. The whole idea is that and to get the Cuban community and the local community involved in this,” Thomas said.

In 2017, the Cuban visitors won the six-game series 4-2 and this time around, Thomas is hoping home field advantage pays off.

“We weren’t pleased with knowing that they came and beat us in our own backyard but, in all fairness to them, they are a very good team. But we are preparing for it and we are hoping this year we will be victorious,” he said.

CaymanSportsBuzz.com will provide a schedule of the games at a later date.

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