New Zealand
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2023 Netball World Cup starts in South Africa

CAPE TOWN, July 28 (Xinhua) -- The 2023 Netball World Cup, commencing in the South African city of Cape Town on Friday, saw defending champions New Zealand make an early mark by thrashing Trinidad and Tobago 76-27 in the opening match.

This marks the first time the Netball World Cup is being hosted on African soil since its inception in England in 1963.

This year's competition, running from July 28 to August 6, features 16 teams vying for the world title.

In one of the two inaugural matches, New Zealand, colloquially known as the Silver Ferns, exerted dominance from the onset, culminating in a commanding victory.

Also on Friday, Tonga stood their ground, edging out a close 56-51 win over a resilient Fiji.

Among the 16 teams participating this year, only three have had the honor of being crowned world champions in the tournament's 60-year history. Australia has clinched the title 11 times, defending champions New Zealand have triumphed on five occasions, and Trinidad and Tobago have won once.

There are two group stages preceding the knockout phase, ensuring all teams will play at least seven matches before the tournament concludes.