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 
 The long road towards the 2023 Netball World Cup will start in November when the Proteas host the England Roses in Cape Town.

The two sides will be involved in a repeat of their World Cup bronze-medal match from July when they take each other on in a three-match series.

The Proteas suffered a comprehensive 58-41 defeat to the Roses in their bronze-medal match at the global showpiece in Liverpool.

It was nevertheless South Africa’s best performance at the global showpiece since 1995 where they finished second with England bagging the bronze.

The series will be the first since iconic Australian coach Norma Plummer ended her time as Proteas coach.

Cape Town is the venue of the next World Cup which will be hosted on the African continent for the first time. The matches will be held from November 29 to December 1.

Netball SA president Cecilia Molokwane said the series would play an essential role in building towards the World Cup on home soil.

“We are excited to be hosting England in November and cannot wait for the clash,” Molokwane said.

“Both teams have gone through a transition phase, and we both are building for the future.

"We don’t want to allow them to beat us on our turf and have a home crowd advantage this time.

"This will be an important few games for us as we are looking forward to the repeat of our last World Cup match against England,” she added.

The tournament in November will be the ideal opportunity to start to build some depth.

The Proteas have already lost one of their stalwarts after Maryka Holtzhausen retired after an illustrious career spanning 12 years.

She represented South Africa 116 times and competed at three Commonwealth Games and three World Cup tournaments and now is the right time to find someone to fill her shoes.

@ockertde


The Star