11/13/2015 15:11 EST | Updated 11/13/2016 00:12 EST

Cuban national baseball team to play regular season games in Can-Am League

NEW YORK — The Cuban national baseball team will play 19 regular-season games in the independent Can-Am League next year.

The league released its 2016 schedule, which includes the Cuban national team and an all-star squad from the Japanese Shikoku Island league.

Between June 9-30, Cuba will play three and four-game series against all six teams in the Can-Am League based in New Jersey, New York, Ottawa and Quebec.

"We are thrilled to be able to showcase two great international teams," said league commissioner Miles Wolff said Thursday. "We are honoured that the Cuban national team respects the Can-Am League and will send their best team."

Cuba and the U.S. have begun to restore diplomatic ties, and both countries re-established their respective embassies in July.

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said this week he remains hopeful a big league team will play an exhibition game in Cuba during spring training.

Associated Press, The Associated Press