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Tri series netball going ahead in Jamaica

Tri series netball going ahead in Jamaica
Trinidad and Tobago’s goal shooter Samantha Wallace. (FILE)

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The upcoming netball tri series involving the national teams of South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago and hosts Jamaica is on despite recent concerns about the government there sanctioning the tournament in light of rising Covid-19 infections in that country.

On Tuesday, Trinidad and Tobago Netball Association president Sherry Ann Blackburn informed the Daily Express that having been in contact with the Jamaican netball authorities as recently as Monday, the news is good.

“The series is on. We have been in contact with Jamaica as recently as this week and the series is on,” Blackburn stated.

T&T’s Calypso Girls are currently preparing for the series under new coach Althea McCollin, and will be using the matches against two of the world’s top five teams as preparation for the 2022 Commonwealth Games and Netball World Cup in 2023.

The series takes place in Jamaica from October 10-23 and will see T&T play Jamaica and South Africa each twice.

“What we are doing is in preparation for Commonwealth in July in Birmingham next year,” T&T manager Asha Legall said.

“We intend to compete,” she added. “We would have been out of competition for more than a year, so this would be our start back I would say.”

The training squad has now been cut down to 12 players and three reserves, inclusive of Australia-based netballers Samantha Wallace and Kalifa McCollin, as well as United States based basketballer/netballer Chervelle Cox.

“They will be joining the team,” Legall assured, concerning the overseas-based players.

Jamaica’s top netballers, who are plying their trade overseas, have confirmed their availability and intention to suit up. Robinson said Sunshine Girls captain and goal shooter Jhaniele Fowler, along with Shamera Sterling, Jodi-Ann Wade, Romelda Aiken, Kadie-Ann Dehaney and Latanya Wilson—who all play in the Suncorp Super Netball League in Australia—were available for the series.

“They have indicated their availability for the series and so we are happy that we will be fielding a full-strength squad for the series,” The Star reported Robinson as stating.

“We will face Trinidad and Tobago and South Africa in October, and we are looking to face England in early December and this is all in preparation for the Commonwealth Games next summer,” she said.

The Sunshine Girls, who are ranked fourth in the world, captured the bronze medal at the last Commonwealth Games, which was held in the Gold Coast, Australia, in 2018. Then at the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England, Jamaica finished fifth in the tournament.

Robinson pointed out that they will be taking the tri-nation very seriously because it forms a very important part of their preparation for the Commonwealth Games and Netball World Cup in 2023. (Trinidad Express)