Mexico are the current Under-23 Baseball World Cup champions ©Getty Images

The men's Under-23 Baseball World Cup has been pushed back until 2021 because of the coronavirus crisis. 

It was due to begin on September 30 in the Mexican cities of Ciudad Obregon and Los Mochis, but the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) and local organisers have deemed that unwise given the global health crisis.

Mexico recorded 5,432 new coronavirus cases yesterday and 648 more deaths, with the Americas now said to be the epicentre of the pandemic.

September 24 to October 3 in 2021 has been set as the new window for the age-group competition.

The event was the first of three WBSC tournaments due to go ahead in Mexico this year, being followed by the men's Under-15 Baseball World Cup and Women’s Baseball World Cup in Tijuana.

Those tournaments going ahead now appears in further doubt.

"As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, the WBSC, as well as our hosts and all concerned stakeholders, consider the rescheduling of the U-23 Baseball World Cup to 2021 to be the best and safest course of action," WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said.

"While today’s decision is disappointing, I am confident that our Mexican hosts next year will be able to deliver the best-ever U-23 Baseball World Cup, where fans can fill the stadiums and cheer on their favourite national teams, building upon the wave of momentum for our sport in the weeks following the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games."

Meixco recorded more than 600 COVID-19 deaths yesterday ©Getty Images
Meixco recorded more than 600 COVID-19 deaths yesterday ©Getty Images

The Estadio Yaquis in Ciudad Obregon and Los Mochis's Estadio Emilio Ibarra Almada - two stadiums usually home to Mexican Pacific League teams - will still be used.

Twelve teams have qualified for the tournament, with Asia and the Americas both set to have four representatives.

Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua advanced form a regional qualifier, while hosts Mexico qualified automatically.

The Mexicans are the defending champions.

China, Japan and Chinese Taipei were the top three teams at last year's Asian Baseball Championship, with fourth-placed South Korea given a wild-card spot at the Under-23 World Cup.

South Africa, New Zealand, Germany and the Czech Republic are also set to compete in Mexico.

This will be the third edition of the tournament, with the first - in 2016 - also held in Mexico and won by Japan.