Airtel Money National Netball Trophy champions Tigresses will miss goalkeeper-cum-shooter Lauren Ngwira in the title defence next month after the player announced that she is taking a breather.
Ngwira’s announcement comes amid reports of a rift between the technical panel and some players which has seen two others—Brenda Mkandawire and Chrissy Mdoka—leaving the club.
However, in a short response Ngwira did not disclose the reasons behind the decision to quit Tigresses.
“Right now, I have given myself a break. When I return, I will let you know,” Ngwira said in an interview.
The player has since left the team’s hostels in Che Mussa.
Team manager Charles Mhango confirmed that the player has not been reporting for training since Tuesday.
He, however, said the shooter has not communicated why she is absconding training sessions.
“As you are aware we are coming from off-season and we have just started training in preparation for the Airtel Money National Netball Trophy,” Mhango said.
“Lauren did not attend the first training session. But we thought that maybe because it’s just a few days after resuming training.”
When asked if he had heard about the player’s intention to quit, Mhango said he only got the news from the grapevine.
“But the patron Hellen Mpinganjira should be aware if she [Ngwira] has officially told the club that she is leaving,” said Mhango.
However, Mpinganjira said she was not aware of the player’s intentions.
She said: “I talked to her on Monday to let her know that we were regrouping but she did not turn up for the training. But I am not aware of her decision to quit.
“I am only aware of Brenda Mkandawire and Chrissy Mdoka who informed me about their decision to leave the club. I will have to find out from her if she has indeed left the club.”
Her decision to quit is a big blow to Tigresses. Ngwira, who can play as a goalkeeper and shooter, is one of the team’s representatives at Malawi national netball team alongside Grace Mhango and Sindi Simtowe.n