The Malawi Queens will use the African Netball Championships in Kampala, Uganda from which throws off this Sunday as a mere rating event and not qualifier for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, as earlier indicated.
Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) Carol Bapu yesterday said the development follows the fact that the Queens have been seeded for being among the top-six teams on the International Netball Federations (IFN) rankings table.
According to an article ‘Netball at the 2018 Commonwealth Games’ on en.wikipedia.org, 11 highest-ranked teams in the INF World Rankings as at 1 July 2017 alongside hosts Australia will make the grade.
“We have been seeded at the Commonwealth Games for being the sixth-ranked team in the world. Therefore, the African Netball Championship will only help the Queens gain more rating points,” Bapu said.
This is probably the reason the Queens’ rivals South Africa, who top-ranked team in the continent and number five in the world, have decided to shun the weeklong continental championships expected to run from this Sunday.
Meanwhile, England-based shooter Joyce Mvula arrived in the country on Tuesday and is expected to join the Queens in Kampala today.
“I am ready to join the Queens and I will do anything possible to help the national team to bring home the trophy,” the Manchester Thunder player said in a telephone interview from Lilongwe yesterday.
The Queens left for Kampala last weekend with a relatively inexperienced squad as six key players Australia-based Mwawi Kumwenda, Carol Mtukule-Ngwira, Grace Mwafulirwa-Mhango, Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda, Takondwa Lwazi and Lauren Ngwira failed to honour national team call-ups. n