ZIMBABWE’S women’s netball side, The Gems, will leave the country not later than Sunday for the three-team Spar Diamond Challenge to be played in South Africa from 22 to 26 November at the University of Pretoria’s Rembrandt Hall.
Netball South Africa confirmed last week that South Africa would play host to Zimbabwe and Scotland for the Spar Diamond Challenge after a four-year hiatus.
Mzansi will play host to Zimbabwe and Scotland following the withdrawal of Malawi.
South Africa’s President’s XII team has been roped in to participate at this year’s tournament as an invitational team.
All the Diamond Challenges will be broadcast live on SuperSport TV.
Speaking to News24, Netball South Africa president Cecilia Molokwane said: “We felt that it was important for us as a federation to have another major tournament just before we close off the year.”
Bulawayo-bred Zimbabwe England-based team captain Felistus Kwangwa will lead the Gems ship that seeks to use the upcoming contest to prepare for the 2023 Netball World Cup, which will be staged in Cape Town. Zimbabwe coach Ropafadzo Mutsauki has helped his charges prepare for the competition since last month with the help of the country’s Under-19 squad that has been readying for the AUSC Region 5 Games that will take place in Lilongwe, Malawi, from 2-11 December.
Besides Kwangwa, Gems will also pin their hopes for a fruitful campaign on the services of Sharleen Makusha, Sthabile Manyukire, Lynette Tanhira, Elizabeth Mushore who turn out for Platinum Queens.
The quartet recently helped their side clinch their second Premier Netball League championship on the trot by winning all their 36 games of the season.
Tadanaishe Assa Zimisi, Rudo Simbi (Harare City Queens), Sharon Bwanali, Tafadzwa Matura (ZDF Queens), Sharleen Makusha, Sthabile Manyukire, Lynette Tanhira, Elizabeth Mushore (Platinum Queens), Ursula Ndlovu, Nobukhosi Ndlovu, Beaular Hlungwane (Glow Petroleum), Kudakwashe Machongwe (Correctional Services), Nicole Muzanenhamo, Tandekile Mahlangu, Thandazile Ndlovu (Greenfuel) and Felistus Kwangwa (Surrey Storm).