If playing for the 2011 Holden Netball Test Series and Constellation Cup wasn’t enough, the world number one ranking will also be on the line when the Australian Diamonds host the New Zealand Silver Ferns on Sunday.
Diamonds trail the Silver Ferns by two rating points on the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) world ranking however a victory at the sold out Hisense Arena will see Australia regain top spot.
“The players deserve it,” Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander said.
“We’re going to give it everything in the last Test and if they are successful at the end of that, I think it’s fitting that they receive the world number one ranking.
“At the end of the day we want to win the series, keep the Constellation Cup in Australia and if we regain the world number one ranking then it’s a fitting reward for the players, particularly after winning the World Championships as well.”
2011 has been a successful year for the Diamonds, winning twelve of 16 international fixtures this year which includes winning the 2011 World Netball Championship and clean sweeping the three-Test series against England.
Alexander believes it’s a position that everyone involved with Australian netball deserves.
“We’re not in the business of making this the world’s best high performance program without aiming for those benchmarks,” Alexander said.
“The ranking keeps everyone happy; our stakeholders, the fans, the players and all of our sponsors who put so much effort and money into the sport.”
“It’s recognition of how well the players have trained and played this year and also the work that’s done behind the scenes; it would be a great credit to the whole organisation.”
The Australian Diamonds take on the New Zealand Silver Ferns in the final Test to decide the Holden Netball Series and determine the winner of the Constellation Cup today at Hisense Arena.
The match will be broadcast live on Channel Ten and online via Telstra BigPond Sport for national and international audiences.
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