While the bulk of the participants in the forthcoming 2019 Netball World Cup have intensified their preparations for the global showpiece, it is still unclear when the Queens will start their tune-ups.
Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) has since attributed the delay to financial constraints.
Australia, New Zealand, hosts England and South Africa were involved in Quad Series in England which ended three days ago while Uganda’s She Cranes recently played three test matches against England’s Roses. South Africa’s Proteas were also engaged in a week-long Diamonds Netball Challenge which involved Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Queens coach Griffin Saenda said the situation is cause for worry.
“We planned that by now we should have already started our preparations, but we are waiting to hear from NAM who are aware of the programme,” he said.
The Queens’ mentor said there are a number of new players that need international exposure to build confidence.
“Starting preparations in good time would also help us to work on our shortfalls and master tactics and formations for the big tournament,” said Saenda.
But NAM general secretary Carol Bapu yesterday said while they are aware of the need for early preparations, finances pose a challenge.
“It is indeed important that the team should start preparations in good time and that is why we are appealing to the corporate world for assistance.
“We used part of our subvention [from government] to cater for other engagements, including the Fast5 World Netball Series. So, we need to source additional funding to meet our budget for the Netball World Cup which is pegged in the excess of K100 million,” she said.
The Queens are in Group B alongside New Zealand, Barbados and Singapore. They will begin their campaign on the opening day July 12 against New Zealand.