Malawi National Netball Team has reaped the rewards of taking part in the 2022 Netball World Cup Africa zone qualifiers after moving to position six from seven on the latest World Netball rankings released Monday.
Queens have displaced Uganda, who have fallen to position seven, having opted to miss the Netball World Cup qualifiers held in Pretoria, South Africa, in August.
During the qualifying tournament, the Queens finished as runners-up after losing to hosts, South Africa.
The latest rankings take into account matches played up to November 3.
“In fact, over 120 matches have been played. This has resulted in a record number of teams (53) achieving a WN World Ranking, and over 30 teams changing places.
“Within the top eight teams, England swapped places with Jamaica and now hold third position, while Malawi has done likewise with Uganda, respectively, 6th and 7th, and Tonga move into 8th ahead of Wales in 9th,” the rankings indicate.
Furthermore, WN stated that the Queens and England benefitted from taking part in ranking tournaments.
“Uganda’s and Jamaica’s rankings have been impacted by their failure to fulfil fixtures during August and September.
“While for the rising teams, England’s success in their series against Uganda, Tonga’s victory at the PacificAus Series and Malawi finishing runners-up at the NWC2023 Qualifier-Africa, have made a difference,” the report reads.
Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) Vice President Chimwemwe Bakali said they must not rest on their laurels but aim high.
“Malawi is back on position six, having gained points during the World qualifiers when Uganda opted out. This is good news but there is more work to be done.
“We will need to play more games, ranking games to improve our game. We look forward to unearthing talent to achieve this. We call upon the corporate world to join the government in supporting the Queens,” he said.
Coach Peace Chawinga- Kaluwa, whose contract with the Queens expired soon after the World Cup qualifiers, said she was excited.
“I am a very happy person. We made our calculations right basing on what INF uses. Uganda shot themselves in the foot when they chose not to participate in the qualifiers. All in all I am very happy we are back on top,” she said.
The coach, who has been offered a new two-year deal, asked Nam to put in place strategies so that the Queens should still rise on the rankings.
Australia remain the number one ranked side followed by New Zealand on second. England are third while Jamaica are fourth. South Africa are fifth.