Karla Pretorius is named the "Player of the Tournament" at the prize-giving during the Vitality Netball World Cup at M&S Bank Arena on July 21, 2019 in Liverpool, England. Picture: REG CALDECOTT / GALLO IMAGES
Karla Pretorius is named the "Player of the Tournament" at the prize-giving during the Vitality Netball World Cup at M&S Bank Arena on July 21, 2019 in Liverpool, England. Picture: REG CALDECOTT / GALLO IMAGES

The national netball team players will be smiling all the way to the bank after it emerged they will share a R1‚2m bonus from sponsors Spar for finishing fourth at the World Cup in England on Sunday.

The supermarket chain initially promised the players a share of R1m for winning the tournament‚ R750‚000 for second place‚ R500‚000 for finishing third and R200‚000 for reaching the semifinals.

But Netball SA president Cecilia Molokwane announced the 12 Proteas players would be rewarded with R1.2m in appreciation for their sterling effort in the tournament.

SA lost 58-42 to hosts England in the third place playoff  that was followed by New Zealand being crowned champions after a narrow 52-51 win over Australia on Sunday.

Proteas veteran wing defence Karla Pretorius was named player of the tournament.

“I feel honoured to have been named the best player of the World Cup‚” Pretorius said. “You are only as good as those around you and the team did so well at this World Cup‚ and even though we won’t return home with a medal I know we all put our hearts and souls into every game in Liverpool and can hold our heads high.

“This good run obviously was what inspired me to play as well as I did and I am grateful to have been recognised by the tournament and given this very special award.”

The last South African to win this award was Erin Burger at the 2011 World Cup in Singapore and she was Pretorius’s roommate in England.

“When Erin won the award eight years ago it really inspired me‚” said Pretorius. “I have always believed that we can compete with the best in the world even though we don’t play as often as we would like against the top nations. Me winning this award shows SA has the talent to go to the top. I am excited about the future of the Proteas.”

Pretorius returned to Australia on Monday to rejoin her team Sunshine Coast Lightening for the remainder of the Super Netball League.


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