By Mphatso Malidadi:
Local netball analysts have asked Malawi national netball team players to pull up their socks ahead of the 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup to avoid slipping further on world rankings.
The Queens are in the United Kingdom for the global competition scheduled to throw off on Friday in Liverpool.
In preparation for the showpiece, Malawi have played three matches including two test series with one win and two losses.
The Queens endured a 47-52 defeat to Wales in Cardiff on Saturday and also lost 57-44 to England on Thursday, but recovered to hammer Northern Ireland 53-37 on Sunday.
The Queens are likely to lose points on world rankings from the Wales defeat as the match was a test series.
Malawi are ranked ninth in the world whereas Wales, who did not qualify for the World Cup, are ranked 12th.
The win was a morale booster to Wales as they were smarting from a 32-84 defeat to South Africa.
The result left the Queens with unanswered questions as it came on the back of another defeat to England (57-44).
But Malawi could take solace in the fact that this was not a test match.
Former Queens captain, Emmie Waya-Chongwe, sympathised with Malawi, saying their preparations were poor.
Waya-Chongwe said the matches should help the team to work on its weaknesses ahead of the World Cup.
“The team did not prepare thoroughly for the World Cup, so they should use such friendlies to fine-tune for the World Cup,” she said.
Serenity Stars Chairperson, Dalitso Chinyama, said it was time for the Queens to join hands and reclaim their lost glory.
“The team can bounce back if there is unity. Otherwise at the rate we are going, we are likely to slip further on the rankings,” Chinyama said.
So far, Malawi Coach Griffin Saenda Senior has given all his players some game-time during the matches.
Manchester Thunder shooter, Joyce Mvula, is yet to feature as she is recovering from an injury.
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