The Silver Ferns' dramatic double extra time win over Australia for the Commonwealth Games netball gold in New Delhi this year has been rewarded by the New Zealand Olympic Committee.

The netballers have been awarded the Lonsdale Cup, the NZOC's prestigious award made to an athlete or team that has made the most outstanding contribution to an Olympic or Commonwealth sport each year.

The Silver Ferns defended their Commonwealth Games title with a 66-64 win over arch-rivals Australia in October in a match described as arguably the most incredible netball test ever.

Outgoing NZOC secretary general Barry Maister said the win showed the mettle required to win a pinnacle event.

"The team's exhaustion was palpable and we had to admire the single-minded focus with which the team worked together to achieve the double extra time win. It was a proud moment for New Zealand," he said.

Murray Halberg was the first recipient of the Lonsdale Cup in 1961. The award has been awarded annually since, most recently to the Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell in 2008 and Mahe Drysdale in 2009.

- NZPA