Sport | Black Sox

Black Sox captain raring to get World Cup action underway

With the Black Sox squad named earlier today, captain Cole Evans spoke with teaomā about the upcoming Men's Softball World Cup to be played in Aotearoa.

The 2020/2021 Men’s Player of the Year will also have his brother Rhys Evans with him, both of whom are grandchildren of Black Sox legend Stuart Kinghorn.

Cole was given the captaincy duties two years ago for the world cup, in fact, but Covid-19 delayed his chance of walking out on the diamond when the event was postponed from February to November. With Covid restrictions lifted, leading his nation will become a reality next month in the world cup opener against the Czech Republic.

“It was a bit of an awkward situation, to be honest. But I’m really looking forward to captaining the team in that first game world cup,” he says.

The Black Sox captain can't wait for the World Cup!

Regarding his team’s first opponents, he says, “[Czech Republic] are a quality side and they’re ranked above us in the world rankings so it should be a good opener.

“They’ve given us a run in the last few world cups, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

He’s no stranger to the pressures of playing at home during a world championship, much like he did in 2013. The home crowd, he says, is “exhilarating” and he’s looking forward to the energy they’ll bring come November.

If it’s not any more pressure, they're in the same pool as defending champions Argentina. But Evans says his team are coming in a good position as underdogs.

“We’re working-class men who just get out there and battle, that’s what we’re really looking forward to doing.”

NZ Softball chairman Hoani Lambert says having Whakaata Māori chosen as the official broadcaster, the first indigenous broadcaster to do so, is an important moment to see it realised.

“This is an opportunity that I have been looking for some time. The fact that we’ve managed to realise this relationship at this particular time I think is so important.”