By Chipo Sabeta
National netball team goal shooter-cum-goal keeper, Pauline Jani has retired from the international stage with yesterday’s World Cup defeat to Uganda being her last international game.
Zimbabwe lost 58-47 to finish eighth on their debut World Cup appearance and will be expected back home on Wednesday.
Pauline, who turned 30 on July 10, told H-Metro that participating at the World Cup finals was her dream and there is no other ambition hence the decision to leave it to upcoming players.
She will however, still have time for club netball.
“Reaching the World Cup was my dream and it’s high time that I give a chance to upcoming youngsters who still have the energy. I have just turned 30 and I now need to concentrate on my professional job while lying low and playing club netball.
“I am done with the national team and also, I have a five-year old ankle injury which needs healing and the demands of national team are too much,” she said.
On lessons learnt from the World Cup, Pauline said the national team needs exposure from overseas opponents as the game in Africa is lagging behind.
“We have had opportunities against other African teams like Uganda but what we observed is that the levels are completely different when against the likes of England. The differences are not just in terms of tactics it also goes to the match officials.
“The umpires back home are still behind and the ones we had at the World Cup are on another level and we had to learn it the hard way during the actual tournament yet, ideally, we should have learnt during preparations. So if the team qualifies to the next World Cup, they need to have warm-up matches against the very top teams.”
Asked to pick a player of the tournament on the Zimbabwe side, Pauline picked Goal Defender, Felistas Kwangwa.
“She played all matches without being substituted.” H-Metro