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22 July 2019 | Story Ruan Bruwer | Photo Allan McKenzie
Karla Pretorius
Karla Pretorius (left) receiving the trophy as the Player of the Tournament at the Netball World Cup.

Karla Pretorius downplayed all the praise and rather credited her team after she received the biggest accolade in world netball.

The former netball player of the University of the Free State was named Player of the Tournament after the conclusion of the Netball World Cup on Sunday 21 July 2019, making her officially the world’s best netballer.

“I feel very honoured and grateful to have been named the best player. You are only as good as those you surround yourself with. So, a massive thanks to the team who did so well,” she said about the Proteas who had their best showing at the tournament in 24 years. They finished fourth. 

“This good run was obviously what inspired me to play as well as I did, and I am grateful to have been given this very special award,” Pretorius said. 

‘Carried herself with huge distinction’

She represented and later captained the Kovsies between 2009 and 2015. During that time, she scooped one award after the other. In 2014 and 2015, she was the Varsity Player of the Year.

Pretorius was twice named as the Player of the Match during the World Cup, and her 20 intercepts were the joint third most.

She completed her master’s in Dietetics at the UFS last year (2018) and is now playing professional netball in Australia.

According to the organisers, the Player of the Tournament celebrates “the outstanding performance of one particular player who, more than anyone else, exemplified her country’s desire to put themselves back among the elite of world netball”. 
“The fact that South Africa reached the final four for the first time since 1995, is in no small way thanks to her impeccable reading of the game, timing, and composure. She has carried herself both on and off court with huge distinction, and has rightly claimed this honour,” they said.

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