Proteas begin quest to meet netball big guns
SA needs competitive squad for 2023 World Cup
In order for the SA national team, the Proteas, to have a chance of winning the International Netball Federation World Cup in 2023 on home soil, they have to play against top countries regularly as part of their preparations.
The warning was issued by Netball SA president Cecilia Molokwane as she confirmed the team's immediate international programme.
In October, the Proteas will play against Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago in the Margaret Beckford Sunshine Series. The event will take place in the National Indoor Sports Centre in Jamaica on October 10-22.
The last time the Proteas played competitively was during the Spar Tri-Nations Challenge against Uganda and Namibia in March in Cape Town.
They won all their matches without breaking a sweat to clinch the series, but they will receive a stern test on tour in the Caribbean.
Jamaica is now ranked fourth in the world, followed by the Proteas in fifth place, while Trinidad and Tobago are in 10th place in the world rankings.
Australia, New Zealand and England occupy the top three positions in the world rankings.
“If we are serious about competing in the World Cup in two years, we have to play against all the nations above us in the world. Jamaica is the first step, and we will arrange to play against the top three next,” Molokwane told Sowetan.
Proteas coach Dorette Badenhorst assembled a 25-member team for a training camp last week.
Molokwane said the plan was to play against all the top-ranked nations before the end of the year.
“We have suspended netball a couple of times because of the lockdown. I am worried that we do not have a professional netball league, while the players in the other countries are playing regularly. Most of our players are rusty due to the lack of game time,” explained Molokwane.
Badenhorst will select her final squad going to Jamaica at the end of a training camp to be staged in Rustenburg.
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