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Mwawi Kumwenda itching for Queens return

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Malawi National Netball Team superstar Mwawi Kumwenda has expressed excitement with her impending return to the squad which will compete in several tournaments before the end of the year.

Kumwenda last played for the Queens at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, before the early ending of her season after picking a devastating knee injury while playing for her Australia Suncorp Netball League side Melbourne Vixens.

Recovering from a knee reconstruction, Kumwenda sat the majority of the 2019 season out including missing out, on an appearance at that year’s Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England.

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Towards the end of the season, she made a triumphant return to the court and inspired Vixens to the league title in the following season with outstanding performances that earned her the Most Valuable Player award.

The former Diamonds icon is now on course for a sensational return to the squad which is in camp training at Mafco in Salima.

The Queens are preparing for three international tournaments in Namibia and England.

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Malawi will first fly out to Namibia for the Pent series, which runs from November 1 to 5 before lining up for the Africa Netball Championship scheduled for November 9 to 16.

They will then fly to England for the Tri-Nations tournament which runs from November 22 to 29.

Kumwenda said she is looking forward to wearing the national colours again.

“I will definitely be there to represent my country if all travel arrangements are done. We are currently under Covid travel restrictions here in Australia and I am just looking forward to flying back home.

“It is good that we will be facing big teams in these international tournaments. This will help build our confidence as a team,” she said.

Kumwenda said she has been training on her own since the lockdown was imposed shortly after the 2021 season ended late August.

Netball Association of Malawi General Secretary Isaac Chimwala said they had been in touch with Kumwenda.

“We are talking to Mwawi and we appreciate the challenges she is facing to come and join the squad. We are doing whatever we can to help her,” Chimwala said.

He said Kumwenda is the only player who is yet to report for training, with England-based Joyce Mvula and Towera Vinkhumbo already in.

However, Kumwenda could fly out soon as the lockdown was due to be lifted yesterday after Victoria State, where Melbourne is, met its double dose vaccination target of 70 percent.  “Restrictions on leaving home will be lifted and a nighttime curfew will be scrapped. Since the pandemic began, the city of five million people has had six lockdowns. In total, it has spent more than 260 days under some of Australia’s toughest Covid restrictions,” reads a voanews.com report.

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