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Nam eyes continental tourney

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Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) has said it would like to send the Malawi national netball team to Cape Town, South Africa, for this year’s African Netball Championship.

Nam General Secretary, Carol Bapu, said the tournament was crucial as International Netball Federation uses it to rank teams.

“We want the Queens to be part of this year’s Africa Netball Championship. The tournament will help us to improve our position on the world stage because the results matter when it comes to rankings,” Bapu said.

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She said, after finishing sixth at this year’s World Netball Cup in Liverpool, England, Malawi needed to remain active by participating in tournaments.

This will be the first time for South Africa to compete in the event after opting out in the last two years.

The Queens have struggled during the past two editions of the continental showpiece.

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In 2017, Malawi relinquished the title to hosts Uganda after coming second.

Last year, the Queens also settled for silver medals in Lusaka, Zambia, after finishing behind Uganda, who defended the title.

Malawi are ranked ninth in the world and third in Africa.

On the composition of the squad for the Cape Town event, Bapu said it was too early to confirm whether foreign land-based players Mwawi Kumwenda of Melbourne Vixens and Manchester Thunder shooter Joyce Mvula would be available.

“It is every team’s wish to have its best players during such competitions but should circumstances not permit, it would be an opportunity for locally-based players to prove their worth,” she said.

Mwawi missed the global contest in Liverpool after being sidelined by an injury she sustained while playing for Vixens.

She has returned to action in Australia’s Suncorp Netball League after a year-long absence.

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