Shunned Silver Fern Laura Langman would have got New Zealand closer to a medal at the Commonwealth Games, according to former Aussie great Liz Ellis.
Writing in PlayersVoice, she said Netball NZ should have made an exemption for Langman, rather than exclude her for playing in Australia.
Langman played 141 consecutive games for the Silver Ferns before moving to Australia to play.
Players from England, Jamaica and elsewhere in the Australian league were learning to play with the intensity of the Australian team. "The flipside, of course, is that New Zealand are suffering because they're not part of it.
"It was unbelievable to me that New Zealand missed out on a medal on the Gold Coast, and that they almost didn't make the finals," Ellis said.
"But I wasn't exactly shocked because New Zealand no longer have their best players playing in the best league in the world – week in, week out. There is no doubt that their Commonwealth Games performance suffered as a result.
"Not only did New Zealand decide to retreat across the ditch to their own domestic competition but they basically deemed that anyone who played in our competition wasn't able to represent the New Zealand national team.
"So that meant they missed their best player in Laura Langman, who I think has been treated appallingly by their governing body.
"I think she would have got them a lot closer to a medal. She's a superstar who was one of the best players in the Suncorp Super Netball league here last year."
Langman should have been a special case, she said.
"Laura Langman has played 141 tests for the Silver Ferns and had not missed a test match since her debut in 2005. And suddenly they've said 'no, you're playing in Australia, you can no longer play for the national team'.
"I think you can make an exemption for a player who has played that many consecutive test matches for New Zealand. You only need a bush lawyer to tell you that."