Malawi National Netball Team’s participation in the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games has been confirmed after organisers seeded top six teams in the world.
The Queens are among the host nation England, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica and South Africa that have automatically qualified for the games based on the World Rankings as of the July 28, 2021.
World Netball (WN) and Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) issued a statement Monday indicating that a total of 12 teams will compete at the games, with the remaining six still to be decided.
“Due to the impact of the Covid pandemic on the international event calendar, the CGF and WN agreed to extend the qualification date for netball at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games to 31st January 2022.
“This means that teams can continue to play for ranking points up until the 31st January 2022, and the CGA’s ranked 7th-12th at this cut-off date according to the WN World Rankings will then be invited in February 2022 to participate in Birmingham,” the statement reads.
World Netball President Liz Nicholl CBE hailed the top six teams on the body’s website.
“Congratulations to the top six teams in the WN World Rankings on securing their place at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
“World Netball will continue to work closely with the CGF and the CGA’s on the announcement of the remaining six teams.
“I look forward to seeing all 12 teams compete on this world stage in Birmingham next year and watching the athletes embrace this opportunity to compete at this important multi-sport event.”
In the same statement, CGF President Dame Louise Martin also congratulated the top six qualifying teams.
“We are already shaping up for an exciting competition. Netball was one of the highlights of Gold Coast 2018. That unforgettable final between Australia and England will always be remembered as one of the iconic moments in Commonwealth Games history,” Martin said.
Netball Association of Malawi Vice President Chimwemwe Bakali said they were aware of the development.
“We were notified about this sometime ago that our World Ranking as of July will determine our place at 2022 Commonwealth Games. We can now plan effectively because we are assured of our place,” he said.
Currently, the Queens are in camp in Salima district preparing for Africa Netball and Perth Series slated for Namibia next month.