• Kyodo

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Former pro baseball infielder Shogo Kimura was named Friday to the 20-man national cricket team for the 2018 season.

The 37-year-old Kimura took up cricket this past winter after going unsigned following his release by the Seibu Lions. According to the Japan Cricket Association, Kimura is the first pro baseball player to make Japan’s national team.

For Kimura, too, it is a first.

“I’m very happy. This is the first time I will be representing my country,” he said. “Going forward I want to keep giving it more and more effort. I’m going to do my best to compete around the world.”

This year, the men’s team will compete in the International Cricket Council’s World T20 qualifying in the Philippines in December, and the East Asian Cup.

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