Three tests against Eng­land for Ferns

The Timaru Herald - - Sport - Bren­don Egan

Pru­dent fi­nan­cial plan­ning from Net­ball New Zealand was crit­i­cal in the Sil­ver Ferns be­ing able to host in­ter­na­tional net­ball’s re­turn.

Yes­ter­day, the govern­ment granted ap­proval for the world cham­pion Sil­ver Ferns to host Com­mon­wealth Games gold medal­lists Eng­land. All three tests will be played at Hamil­ton’s Claude­lands Arena on Oc­to­ber 28, Oc­to­ber 30 and Novem­ber 1.

It will be the first time in­ter­na­tional net­ball has been played since the out­break of Covid-19.

When New Zealand was in level 4 lock­down ear­lier this year, Net­ball New Zealand (NNZ) chief ex­ec­u­tive Jen­nie Wyl­lie feared their in­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic net­ball pro­gramme could be scup­pered for 2020.

Eng­land’s tour­ing party will touch down on Oc­to­ber 8 and be in man­aged iso­la­tion for the manda­tory 14-day pe­riod.

Play­ers would be able to train fully as a squad four days af­ter ar­riv­ing in the coun­try, de­pen­dent on all mem­bers re­turn­ing a neg­a­tive Covid-19 test on day three.

NNZ will foot Eng­land’s quar­an­tine costs and ex­penses while they are in the coun­try.

NNZ had bud­geted care­fully know­ing an in­ter­na­tional test se­ries could be a pos­si­bil­ity later in the year. It had de­cided to can­cel sev­eral pro­grammes and events in 2020 to re­duce spend­ing. These in­cluded the New Zealand un­der-21s, New Zealand A, the se­condary school na­tion­als, age-group na­tion­als, and sec­ond-tier Beko League com­pe­ti­tion.

‘‘We’re able to cover the quar­an­tine costs be­cause we’ve been re­ally pru­dent in terms of our busi­ness model lead­ing into this back end of the year. That’s kind of how this be­comes pos­si­ble and vi­able,’’ Wyl­lie said.

Cut­ting back their ex­pen­di­ture was cru­cial in mak­ing sure they could pay for Eng­land’s quar­an­tine costs and pro­vide in­ter­na­tional net­ball for the Ferns on home soil. In con­trast, the Aus­tralian Di­a­monds will not play any in­ter­na­tional tests in 2020 – the first time they have had no games in a calendar year since 1984.

‘‘We have made big de­ci­sions in­ter­nally around what pro­grammes we needed to pause and where we needed to make sav­ings in or­der for us to be vi­able, ir­re­spec­tive of whether we’d have in­ter­na­tional play and that’s what we’ve done.

‘‘We needed to change our busi­ness model to en­sure we could still be vi­able at the end of this year.’’

Prior to the Eng­land se­ries, the Ferns will warm up with a Cad­bury Se­ries in Palmer­ston North against the New Zealand men, New Zealand A ‘All Stars’ side, and New Zealand un­der-21 team on Oc­to­ber 21-24.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.