NAM has announced a 26-member Malawi Queens squad which is expected to start camp training today in Blantyre in preparation for three test series against continental rivals South Africa’s Spar Proteas.
The test series will be played between November 26 and 30 in Rustenburg, South Africa.
Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) general secretary Carol Bapu said the Queens were supposed to regroup last weekend, but the camping was put on hold due to some logistical hitches.
“But we are now done and the team is set to go into camp this Saturday,” she said.
Bapu described the test series as crucial considering that the Queens have been inactive for over six months due to Covid-19.
“The matches may also help us improve our rankings,” she said.
The squad includes two overseas-based professionals namely, Australia-based star shooter Mwawi Kumwenda and her England-based counterpart Joyce Mvula.
However, conspicuosly missing from the squad is Mvula’s Manchester Thunder teammate Laureen Ngwira.
Bapu referred Weekend Nation to to Queens’ coach Peace Chawinga-Kaluwa on the reasons of her exclusion.
But both the coach and Ngwira were not available for comment.
The gangly defender-cum-shooter played for First Choice Tigresses before her controversial move to the English club.
Tigresses are coached by Chawinga-Kaluwa.
The squad also includes a number of new faces such as Colleta Mwalilino, Madalitso Mkandawire, Maggie Sikwese, Annabel Phiri, Brenda Lwanda, Tendai Masamba, Mary Nyirenda, Pilirani Nsuka, Liana Mtenje, Catherine Khofi, Molly Chisambiro, Juliet Sambo Beauty Basio and Rose Mkanda.
Meanwhile Netball South Africa (NSA) has also announced a provisional squad of 30 players for the test matches.
NSA president Cecilia Molokwane was quoted by skysports.com on Thursday as having said that head coach Dorette Badenhorst together with her selectors, came up with the provisional squad. She said: “The year 2020 has been a very challenging year as we have had to reshuffle and revise our events calendar for the year. We were all concerned that we may not see our national team compete this year, I am delighted that we will have the SPAR Challenge Series taking place this year against Malawi.”