Australia-based Queens shooter Mwawi Kumwenda has been ruled out of the Africa Netball Championship slated for June 24 to 30 in Uganda due to club commitments.
The continental tournament will coincide with the Australian National Netball League’s deciding matches where Mwawi is hoping to lead her side Vixens to championship title.
Mwawi’s manager Hlupekire Chalamba said the player will only be available in August when the league wraps up.
The top shooter’s absence is a blow to the Queens as they hope to reclaim the top position on the continent after losing it to bitter rivals South Africa.
Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) president Rosy Chinunda, however, said they have not yet given up on Mwawi.
“We wrote her club requesting them to release the player for the Africa Netball Championship. We also wrote Joyce Mvula’s club to release the player as well. This is a very crucial tournament and we want all our best players available,” said Chinunda.
The Queens will also be without their inspirational goal attacker Sindi Simtowe-Msowoya, who is on maternity leave.
Mwawi is currently enjoying a rich vein of form in Australia where she has been named most valuable player (MVP) three times.
Meanwhile, the Queens will go into camp without coach Griffin Saenda who is in China for studies.
“We are finalising logistics on the team’s camp. We will let you know about the dates before the end the week.
“But the team is set to start camp without coach [Griffin Saenda] who is in China and is expected back on May 27,” said Chinunda.
In his absence, assistant coach Sam Kanyenda is expected to be in charge.
Kanyenda last week said the technical panel already submitted a list of 29 players to NAM secretariat to be called into camp.
The queens will also take part in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth games in Australia.