Netball extravaganza in Bulawayo
THE country’s 20 Premier Netball League (PNL) teams will be in Bulawayo tomorrow to battle it out in 34 games at White City Stadium’s three courts.
Ngezi Platinum Stars will be hoping to cement their top-of-the-table place as they lead the pack with 28 points from 15 games.
Defending champions Platinum Queens who have played a game less than the pacesetters are in second place, tied on 26 points with third-placed Greenfuel who have also played 14 games.
Ngezi, who will be aiming to maintain their position at the top of the standings, will face Stormers, Mvurwi, and Harare City, while Platinum Queens will square off against Expandables, Filchrist ZJC, and Harare City.
PNL secretary general Liberty Mhira said all is in place ahead of the netball fiesta.
“We are all set and ready for the successful hosting of the tournament. Hopefully, netball lovers and the Bulawayo community at large will be at White City Stadium for the netball extravaganza,” said Mhira.
The PNL, which is the major feed to the national team, is sponsored to the tune of US$ 50 000 by financial services group, Nedbank Zimbabwe. The deal caters for the teams’ kits and all league expenses throughout the season.
National team coaches are expected to watch the weekend matches in Bulawayo as they monitor players’ performances who are in Gems’ radar for the World Cup set for South Africa.
Nedbank Zimbabwe has also pledged US$50 000 to support the Zimbabwe senior women’s side ahead of the 2023 Netball World Cup to be held in Cape Town, South Africa from July 28 to August 6.
Zimbabwe will be part of the global meet together with other 15 countries who also qualified for the tournament.
After finishing eighth in their maiden World Cup appearance in Liverpool in 2019, the Gems are now targeting a top-four finish, a feat which requires them to push the limits.
Zimbabwe was drawn in Pool A together with defending champions Australia, Fiji and Tonga.
Other teams at the World Cup are Australia, Barbados, England, Jamaica, Malawi, New Zealand, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda and Wales.
The Gems were last in action in November last year when they finished winless at SPAR Diamond Challenge played at the Tuks Sports Centre in Pretoria.
Bulawayo bubble NPL fixtures
Court 1: City Angels v Harare District, Green Fuel v Redwing, Beitbridge Border FB, Rhinos v C. Angels, Green Fuel v Zupco, ZDF v Ngezi, Platinum Queens v Expandables, Rhinos v Redwing, Ngezi v Stormers, Ngezi v Mvurwi
Court 2: City Angels v FilChrist ZJC, Mvurwi v Redwing, FZ v Harare District, Zupco v Mvurwi, Beitbridge Boarder v Mvurwi, FB v Mutare City, FB v Mutare City, Beitbridge Boarder v Harare City, Platinum Queens v FilChrist ZJC
Court 3: Harare District v Waterfalls, Platinum Queens v C Angels, Mutare City v Stormers, Plat v Harare City, Mutare City v Mvurwi, Green Fuel v Mutare City, Ngezi v Harare City, ZDF v C. Angels, C. Angels v Mutare City, ZDF v FilChrist ZJC, Waterfall v Mutare City