2019 World Cup could begin earlier than expected

South Africa’s World Cup squad could be set to take the field even sooner than previously expected, with all of the injuries seemingly having been sorted out. That means the tournament is getting down to business.

With the South African netball team currently racing around the country running around playing games, officials from World Sport South Africa did a cost calculation earlier this week of how much of a strain this expedition will put on resources. The number: approximately $18.4 million.

That is why the World Sport South Africa joint announcement of the “Road to Jamaica 2018” team-building exercises — in which players will move around the country to “pass the knowledge onto young people throughout South Africa” as they develop a “transformed sports culture” — was timed with the World Cup announcement.

Head coach Judy Murray recently told South African Sport that the team, which makes its World Cup debut this year, could be in game shape as early as next week. That plan will have to be altered now that about two dozen players have been involved in the games, out of an original 26.

The extra $18.4 million, so to speak, certainly won’t hurt.

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