Diamonds brace for ball-tampering backlash

Australian netball coach Lisa Alexander has rammed home the values expected of her side as they prepare for a potentially spicy Commonwealth Games clash with South Africa.

The Diamonds play South Africa on April 8 and Alexander admitted she was interested to see if there would be any barbs thrown their way as fall out from the cricket ball-tampering saga continues.

The Diamonds hold every major international netball title and are regarded as darlings of their sport.

The highly-respected coach said on Thursday she had texted her leadership group immediately after the Cape Town Test match incident to issue a reminder of who they would be representing on the court during the Gold Coast Games.

"If something like that happens in our national conversation we will talk about it," she said.

"I texted the leaders straight away when it happened and said it's a great reminder that... we're representing our country and need to understand the duty that we have because they pay for us (to) play, for a start, through our taxes.

"Everyone does make mistakes but at the end of the day I would never ask players to break rules on purpose... this is not on, shouldn't be encouraged by anyone, any coach at any level of any sport in my opinion."

The Diamonds begin their Commonwealth Games campaign next Thursday against Northern Ireland.

But the side's third pool game against the Proteas has now taken on new meaning after Test cricketers Cameron Bancroft, Steve Smith and David Warner were all suspended for their roles in the ball-tampering scandal that has rocked the sport.

Alexander said she'd be listening for any wise-cracks from the crowd but hoped both Australian and visiting fans displayed some grace and humility.

"I would encourage all Australians to make sure when they're spectating they do it with the right spirit intended because it's not in our best interests to heckle anyone, but be positive in our performance and clap really good play from the opposition as well."