By Regina Nalujja
English netball has confirmed that they will be hosting Australia, New Zealand and Uganda in a four day tournament in January next year. Among these, Australia are this year’s Netball World Cup champions, England are runners up while New Zealand finished fourth before fifth-placed Uganda.
If they make it to the competition, the She Cranes – who finished fifth at the World Cup – will have a lot of lessons to pick from their outstanding opponents.
Winning games also brightens Uganda’s chances for better world rankings.
Now that a normalisation committee led by lawyer and sports administrator Moses Mwase is working against time to see that netball regains its status after the federation’s certificate was revoked by the National Council of Sports, there is a chance that Uganda will make it for the competition.
Going by Mwase’s response, the She Cranes will take part in the tournament despite the prevailing hardships.
“We are planning for the series,”Mwase told Daily Monitor.
English head coach Jess Thirlby links great importance to the tournament.
“Playing teams of this caliber is a significant step towards preparing for and realising our long term ambition,” Thirlby was quoted by BBC as saying. “All three nations represent different challenges and this will be a great opportunity for us to come up against varying styles during what we hope will be a thrilling Series for our fans,”she added.
The She Cranes are expected to take part in the Africa Netball Championships this month in Botswana. England Netball CEO Fran Connolly said hosting the event across two venues “demonstrates the growing support and interest in our sport in this country.”
The Series will mark the first time inter-national netball has been held in Leeds and the first time since 2017 matches have taken place at Wembley Arena.