World Baseball Classic, Inc. announced that the teams invited to participate in the 2009 World Baseball Classic will be the same 16 teams from the inaugural 2006 tournament.
Australia, Canada, China, Italy, the Netherlands, Panama, South Africa and Taiwan were the latest eight teams to receive invitations to the WBC, which will be held in March, 2009. Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea, the United States and Venezuela already received invitations after advancing to the second round of the WBC in 2006.
WCBI also announced that the tournament could expand in 2013, with more teams possibly being involved through a series of qualifying rounds.
Japan defeated Cuba two years ago to win the inaugural WBC championship.