New Zealand’s Fast5 Ferns are the winners of the new look Fast5 Netball World Series, after a 23-21 win over title-holders England in the grand final in Auckland. The Ferns struggled to match England’s fast pace and long range shooting early on, before finding their form and applying more defensive pressure to stifle the English attack. English shooter Jo Harten had the chance to take the title for her side with a long range shot in the closing seconds, but it failed to drop. Meanwhile, South Africa’s Proteas concluded a southern hemisphere tour during which they increased their playing standards significantly by taking a well-deserved bronze medal, defeating Jamaica 38-34.
Sri Lanka has confirmed that Tharjini Sivalingam and Gayathri Lankathilake will retain the joint captaincy of the national side for the Nations Cup Netball Championships, which will be held in Singapore from 2 December. The Sri Lankan selectors have made four changes to the squad which lost to Singapore at the Asian Championships earlier this year. The athletes named to compete in Singapore are: Tharjini Sivalingam (Capt), Gayathri Kankathilaka (Capt), Dharshani Abeykoon , Thisala Tharini Algama, Semini Alwis, P. Ashwini, Gayani Dissanayake , Dulani Erandika, Manisha Fernando, Visna K Fernando, Sureka Kumari, Priyadarshani Jayasoriya, Hasith Mendis, Samanthi Nilusha, Sewwandi Tharaka.
Meanwhile Singapore has named three new faces in its squad for the Nations Cup, with Suhailah Kariman (centre/wing attack), goal shooter Melissa Teo, and Nur'Aqilah Afiqah Andin Agustino Saman (goal keeper) set to make their debuts at the six-nation tournament. The hosts will be looking to end their four-year title drought with a team comprising veteran players and co-captains Jean Ng - who will be retiring after the tournament - and Lin Qingyi, alongside youngsters like former 21& Under squad members Charmaine Soh, Shelby Koh and goal keeper Chen Li Li.
Nambia’s Desert Jewels will be captained by experienced Toetsie Kambatuku at the Nations Cup tournament, with several new faces in the squad. Anna Kasper and Delila Keja, who both played in last season’s Singapore FairPrice Foundation Netball Superleague, have also been named in the squad. The full Namibian line up for the competition is: Toetsie Kambatuku (capt), Amore Botes, Eve Hamwaalwa, Vijandemuje Maberipa, Gleneth Kazonganga, Delila Keja, Yvonne Kotjipati, Bernadine Makari, Nelandre Mostert, Menethe Muvangua, Ester Uuwanga, Susan Zyl.
Towering Jamaican shooter Jhaniele Fowler is the latest Sunshine Girl to be signed for a season in the ANZ Championships. Fowler, who was previously linked to the Adelaide Thunderbirds, has signed with New Zealand franchise the Southern Steel for the 2013 season.
Finally, Tanzania’s Amateur Netball Association Chaneta, has appointed Malawi’s most celebrated player, Mary Waya, as the country’s new head coach to train the national team Taifa Queens for one year. Waya takes over from long-serving coach Mary Protas, who led the Queens to a second place finish in the Afircan championships earlier this year. Waya acted as her assistant for this competition.