AUSTRALIAN DIAMONDS v MALAWAI QUEENS
Date: Wednesday 16 October 2013
Venue: WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong.
Time: 8.00pm (AEDT). Doors open at 7.00pm.
Tickets: General public tickets are on sale through Ticketek. Purchase online at www.ticketek.com.au, phone 132 849 or any Ticketek outlet. Great seats are still available.
Parking: About 1200 spaces are available all within a few minutes walk of the venue. The main location is the WIN Stadium Car Park, adjacent to the Chifley Hotel. Special event parking rates will apply. Secure parking is also available on Stewart Street at a cost of $5.
Public Transport: The Wollongong train station is a 10-15 minute walk from the venue. A free Gong Shuffle bus service operates up until 10pm with services running every 20 minutes off-peak (after 6pm).
Visit www.131500.com.au for more information about how to get to and from the venue by public transport.
Broadcast: Live on FOX SPORTS 1 in Australia from 8.00pm (AEDT). SBS2 will be showing the match on delay at 10.30pm. Check local programming guides for further details.
It’s an historic occasion for Malawi with the Queens taking on the Diamonds for the first time on Australian soil.
These will be the Diamonds final two Tests before next year’s Commonwealth Games in Scotland, but the Queens will be eager to perform well against the reigning World Champions with an eye towards the Netball World Cup in Australia in two years time.
While they don’t count as “official” internationals, Malawi actually beat Australia twice at last year’s Fast5 Netball World Series in Auckland.
The Queens won 33-15 in the preliminary rounds and then 33-30 in the play-off for fifth and sixth place.
The Diamonds enter the series having played five intense Tests against arch rivals New Zealand in the Constellation Cup – and Australian coach Lisa Alexander is expecting these two games to also be contested at a high intensity.
The land-locked African nation – affectionately nicknamed “The Warm Heart of Africa” – is known for playing an attractive and exciting brand of netball.
That style, combined with the natural flair of their players, is sure to provide the crowds with two entertaining matches.
This year is the 75th anniversary of Australia’s first ever international netball match, which was played in Melbourne against New Zealand on August 20, 1938.
NSW Swifts youngster Paige Hadley is set to become the latest Diamonds debutante after being named in the squad of 12 for the two Test series. Hadley, who recently turned 21, will replace fellow Australian 21/U teammate Kim Ravaillion in the squad as one of two changes to the team from the New Zealand series.
Experienced defender Demelza McCloud has had her international career revived eight years after she played her last Test for Australia. McCloud – who’s last Test was back in 2005 – comes into the line-up for Bianca Chatfield with Kimberlee Green taking over the role as vice-captain for the two matches.
The Queens will be virtually unknown to Australian netball fans – but they will soon get used to the name Mwai Kumwenda.
The tall goal shooter is poised to become the first Malawian to play in the ANZ Championship after signing with New Zealand side the Tactix for the 2014 season.
Kumwenda has spent the past three years playing at State League level in Victoria and was a key part of the Victorian Fury side that won this year’s Australian Netball League. She won the competition’s MVP award and her haul of 461 goals at 95 per cent accuracy was a new season record.