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Netball makes its return

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BY MAGRETH RUZVIDZO
The first edition of the Premier Netball League (PNL) will be played in Bulawayo tomorrow as teams hone their skills ahead of the start of the main league.

After over a year of inactivity due to COVID-19 control measures in the country, netball players return to the courts for competitive action.

Tomorrow’s tournament was recently launched in Harare, where the administrators pledged to put something together to help develop the game in the country and feed into the national teams.

In an interview with NewsDay Sport, PNL chief executive Freedom Tivagare said: “We are 99% prepared so far and we have secured three separate venues for pool games.

“COVID-19 tests for teams shall be done prior to entry and all COVID-19 preparations are in place, that is, sanitisers, thermometer, registers and also proper checking and enforcement of all COVID-19 protocols.”

“We have also secured approval from the Sports and Recreation Commission and Zimbabwe Netball Association and the tournament will be just a one-day event.”

He added: “The teams will be divided into four groups, with five teams in each group playing in separate venues so that we make sure we do not exceed 100 people per venue.

“The top two teams from each pool will advance to the quarterfinals, where they will play for two semifinals and eventually the final. There will also be a third and fourth place play off.”

The PNL, which runs under the tagline Promoting Girl Child through Sport, has become the first netball elite league to be launched in the country.

The national league is pencilled to start in two weeks’ time.

PNL Fixtures

Group A: Bulawayo Stars, ZDF, Goldreef, Harare City, Masvingo Stars and University of Zimbabwe

Group B: Blue Queens, Correctional, Gweru Queens, Lupane, Mutare City, Waterfalls

Group C: BTTC, Bulawayo Queens, Green Fuel, Mashonaland East Select, Mupandawana, Ngezi

Group D: Black Rhinos, Blanket Mine, CUT, Harare District, Masvingo Pirates, Platinum

Follow Magreth on Twitter @MagrethRuzvidzo

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