Japan's players celebrate after winning the World Baseball Classic for a third time by beating the United States ©Getty Images

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has hailed a record-breaking World Baseball Classic during a virtual meeting of its Executive Board, held today.

The tournament, which concluded in Miami, United States, on Tuesday (March 21), saw Japan beat co-hosts the US in a thrilling final 3-2 to win the event for a record third time.

As our editor-in-chief Duncan Mackay reflected in his most recent blog, the final was arguably one of the greatest matches in international baseball history.

During today’s WBSC Executive Board meeting the organisation’s President Riccardo Fraccari looked back at an "exciting" tournament.

"A quintessential value of the World Baseball Classic is showing how global our sport has become and the potential to grow even further," said Fraccari.

"This tournament shows the real power of baseball and softball around the world. As well as the passion of the players to play for their national teams, we have seen the fans live and breathe every moment of their country’s games.

"I must say well done and thank you to Major League Baseball for putting on such a fantastic tournament.

"Our relationship with the MLB has never been stronger and it has been our pleasure to support them in the delivery of this tournament.

"Without their willingness to drive forward the international game, we would not have had the chance to watch Shohei Ohtani pitch against Los Angeles Angels teammate Mike Trout with the trophy on the line.

"Thanks to their efforts, we were able to witness what will surely become an iconic moment in the history of our sport.

"We will look to build on MLB’s efforts in the coming weeks, months and years to ensure that international baseball continues its upward trajectory. The future is exciting."

Japan also defeated the United States to win the baseball final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the win means they are the first country to simultaneously hold the World Baseball Classic, Olympic and Premier12 titles.

A total of 1.3 million fans attended the 47 matches at the tournament, which was co-hosted by the United States, Japan and Taiwan.

A record 1,010,999 attended first-round matches, with an overall average attendance per game of 25,275.

Elsewhere at the WBSC Executive Board meeting, membership applications by the Estonia Softball Federation and the Vietnam Baseball & Softball Federation were approved.

The merger of the Greece Baseball Federation and Greece Softball Federation into a single federation and associate member was also approved.

The Armenia Baseball Federation, Botswana Baseball Federation, Cameroon Baseball and Softball Federation and British Virgin Islands Baseball Federation were all dismissed due to non-recognition by their National Olympic Committee or Government, a lack of activity or financial difficulties.

The Board approved the holding of an online Congress this year, with an in-person Congress scheduled for 2025.