Netball South Africa said this week it was eager to win its Cape Town bid for the 2023 World Cup, in an attempt to promote the sport after losing the headline sponsor for the domestic Premier League
Seven countries have hosted the previous 14 editions of the World Cup – England, Australia, Jamaica, New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago, Singapore and Scotland – with England set to stage the event for the third time later this year, in Liverpool.
No African country has hosted the showpiece since it was launched in 1963, however, and the SA bid committee has understandably leaned on this key point in its presentation.
“As the top-ranked team in Africa, we want Netball World Cup 2023 to inspire and enable other African countries to grow and develop the sport, and to become full members of the International Netball Federation.”Netball South Africa president Cecilia Molokwane
The recent performances by African countries suggests the continent has earned the right to host the quadrennial spectacle.
Spearheaded by South Africa, who have settled into fifth position, three African countries are ranked among the top seven teams in the world and another two are inside the top 20.
World rankings (points)
1 Australia (211)
2 New Zealand (173)
3 Jamaica (172)
4 England (172)
5 South Africa (142)
6 Malawi (119)
7 Uganda (119)
8 Northern Ireland (111)
9 Scotland (111)
10 Trinidad and Tobago (107)
13 Zimbabwe (84)
16 Zambia (73)
21 Swaziland (45)
24 Botswana (38)
32 Namibia (17)
Aside from making history as the second country (after England) to host the football, rugby, cricket and netball World Cups, the 2023 World Cup would also offer tangible benefits to the nation by providing a significant boost to the economy.
While the event would cost a projected R68 million to organise, it had a potential R2.5 billion economic impact through tourism and other industries.
“Up and coming players from all corners of our beautiful country would be able to experience the biggest netball event on home soil. In different ways, hosting the World Cup would touch the hearts of players around the country and inspire future netball legends.”Proteas captain Bongi Msomi
New Zealand have previously hosted the World Cup on three occasions – in Auckland in 1975, Christchurch in 1999 and Auckland in 2007 – but the Kiwis have their own hook which could give them the sentimental nod