Mist surrounds Malawi National Netball Team star Loreen Ngwira’s withdrawal from the Manchester Thunder squad ahead of England’s 2021 Vitality Netball Superleague (VNL) season throw-off.
Thunder reported that Ngwira will miss action on medical grounds but the player insists she is taking a break from netball.
The VNL champions’ director of netball, Karen Greig, told the club’s website that the Queens goalkeeper-cum-defender was heading back home and would not be part of her squad for the new season.
“Of course we are disappointed to lose Loreen at such a crucial time as the season is about to start. We wish her well and a safe trip home.
“However, we need to act fast now and will endeavour to find a replacement to continue our quest to retain the league title,” Greig said.
Ngwira said she had resigned from Thunders’ 2021 squad on personal grounds.
The former First Choice Tigresses stalwart denied social media reports that she was expectant.
“I have made my decision and I am happy. I have now shifted my focus to my family. If indeed I am pregnant, the truth will be known in the near future. Personally, I do not see any problem with withdrawing from netball.
“In fact I am not the only player to have made this decision. This same week, three players from other countries have also withdrawn but there isn’t much being said about them,” Ngwira said.
She ruled out a return to her parent club, Tigresses.
“It would not make any sense to resign from a team here [in England] and rejoin Tigresses at home. I am starting a new lease of life, so I am not thinking about netball presently; maybe in future. I just want to be home with my family. Family is important,” Ngwira said.
Netball Association of Malawi General Secretary Carol Bapu said they had learnt about Ngwira’s withdrawal through social media.
“We are investigating the matter but, at the same time, we appreciate the need to respect her privacy,” Bapu said.
Ngwira joined Thunder at the start of the 2020 season, having moved from London Pulse. She had earlier played for Team Northumbria.