Izette Griesel of the SPAR Proteas in action during the Vitality Netball World Cup match between South Africa and England at M&S Bank Arena on Thursday. Photo by Reg Caldecott

JOHANNESBURG – Telkom pledged to pay R1 million each to the 12 players in the South African netball team if they win the World Cup title and R500 000 each if they returned with the silver medal.

South Africa reached the Netball World Cup semi-finals for the first time in 24 years after beating Uganda 67-40 on Wednesday. The team have emerged as one of the top sides in the tournament winning five consecutive matches to march into Saturday’s semi-finals.

The Proteas last reached the final at the 1995 Netball World Championship in Birmingham where they won the silver medal after losing to Australia in the final. They have not been able to emulate the class of 1995 finishing fifth on four occasions and sixth on another.

These bonuses will be paid over, and above the incentives, the team’s title sponsors SPAR pledged before the start of the tournament. The long-time sponsors announced they would give the team R1m if they won the championship, R750 000 for silver and R500 000 for bronze.

The Proteas have been in stellar form from the start of the tournament with their victory over world number two Jamaica during the group stages.

“We could easily have 12 new millionaires at the end of this week, imagine how many lives we will change and impact with this. I believe that the team has earned all the good things coming their way.

“Coach Norma (Plummer) and her staff have done well to give us the team that we have today, and I think that it’s only (fair) we reward them accordingly,” said Netball SA president Cecilia Molokwane.

@ockertde 

The Star

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