Two-way star Shohei Ohtani said Thursday he wants to play for Team Japan at next year’s World Baseball Classic.

The Los Angeles Angels star took to Instagram to say he has contacted Team Japan manager Hideki Kuriyama to tell him of his desire to play in the tournament for the first time in his career.

“Looking forward for the opportunity to face the best players around the world and to be able to play in front of the Japanese fans for the first time in over 5 years!!” Ohtani wrote.

Taichung, Tokyo, Phoenix and Miami are the four host cities of the World Baseball Classic.

Japan is in Pool B of the March 8-21 tournament and will play its four opening round games and, should it advance, the quarterfinal in Tokyo.

Ohtani compiled a 15-9 record this year as a pitcher with a 2.33 ERA and 219 strikeouts. As a hitter, Ohtani had 34 home runs and 95 RBI.



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Shohei Ohtani hoping to make his WBC debut for Japan in 2023

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