Diamonds captain Bassett ponders future

Adrian Warren
Caitlin Bassett admits she isn't sure how long she will continue to play international netball

Australia captain Caitlin Bassett says she still loves netball but doesn't know how much longer she'll keep playing.

The veteran shooter is preparing to lead the Diamonds against a Suncorp Super Netball All-Stars side in a bushfire relief charity match.

A squad of 14, including recently-retired Caitlin Thwaites and uncapped fellow shooter Kiera Austin, has been named for the March 1 game at Sydney's Qudos Bank Arena, with tickets on sale on Thursday.

They will face a squad drawn from five nations, England, New Zealand, South Africa and Trinidad and also some other Australians.

Among the overseas stars are prolific Jamaican shooter Jhaniele Fowler, legendary New Zealand mid-courter Laura Langman and veteran England defender Geva Mentor.

"I think it gives us the opportunity to do something because we felt so helpless," Bassett said about the devastation caused by the bushfires.

"I guess it was a wake up that things are happening and the climate is changing and we have to really be smart about the way that we treat our environment because we live in the most amazing place in the world."

Bassett brought up her 100th cap in Australia's last Test, but the 31-year-old has yet to announce whether she intends aiming for the 2022 Commonwealth games and 2023 World Cup.

"I don't like to think too far ahead, you never know what's going to happen with injuries and things like that," Bassett said.

"We've got a very long pre-season to stick my head down and really work hard and see how fit I can get in this next 14 weeks stretch and then we'll see how the season goes.

'But at the moment I'm loving playing netball, I love being a part of the Diamonds, and leading them as captain.

"I think I've got a few more caps left in me still."

News of the bushfires has also had a profound affect on the overseas players plying their trade in Super Netball.

"It definitely does hit hard," England and NSW Swifts shooter Helen Housby said.

"When I was back in England and watching it on the news, it was tough to see it happen, especially when you know it's happening in a small local community and you know that netball has a big part in those communities."

One positive for Housby is the match will allow her to play alongside opponents she has admired

"I've always wanted to play with people like Laura Langman and I'm used to playing against Karla Pretorius, so it will be nice to have them on the same team," Housby said.

Diamonds: Caitlin Bassett (Giants, capt), Liz Watson (Vixens, vice-captain), Kiera Austin (Giants), Ash Brazill (Magpies), Courtney Bruce (Fever), Paige Hadley (Swifts), Sarah Klau (Swifts), Tegan Philip (Vixens), Jamie-Lee Price (Giants), Laura Scherian (Lightning), Caitlin Thwaites (Vixens), Gretel Tippett (Firebirds), Maddy Turner (Swifts), Jo Weston ( Vixens)

Coach: Lisa Alexander

Suncorp Super Netball All-Stars:

Coaches: Briony Akle (Swifts) and Julie Fitzgerald (Giants)

Jhaniele Fowler (Fever, Jamaica), Jo Harten (Giants, England), Nat Haythornthwaite (Swifts, England), Helen Housby (Swifts, England), Laura Langman ( Lightning, New Zealand), Emily Mannix (Vixens, Australia), Kristiana Manu'a (Giants, Australia), Geva Mentor (Magpies, England), Kate Moloney (Vixens, Australia), Chelsea Pitman (Thunderbirds, England), Karla Pretorius (Lightning, South Africa), Gabi Simpson (Firebirds, Australia), Shamera Sterling (Thunderbirds, Jamaica), Sam Wallace Swifts, (Trinidad).Captain to be named.

Coaches: Briony Akle (Swifts) and Julie Fitzgerald (Giants)