Zomba-based Cobbe Sisters netball team have pulled out of the Rainbow Paints Blantyre and Districts Netball League (BDNL) mid-way through the season.
In a letter to BDNL, which The Nation has seen, the Malawi Defence Force’s sponsored team’s manager Joanna Laika cited mass exodus of players as the reason.
She stated in the letter: “We sincerely apologise for dropping out of the league unexpectedly.
“As a team comprising MDF soldiers from Cobbe Barracks, most of our players are not available to participate in the league. They have been deployed to the DRC [Democratic Republic of Congo] on a peace-keeping mission while others have been transferred to other barracks.”
In an interview yesterday, the team manager said they will do their best next season to form a permanent team by incoporating civilians so as not to be affected when some players are on military duties.
BDNL general secretary Annie Hanjahanja-Billie yesterday said they will meet today to map the way forward because the development has heavily affected the league.
“Their pulling out
means we have to restructure our fixtures and see how we ensure that no other team is negatively affected considering that Cobbe [have] already won and lost against some teams in the league. We will hold a meeting tomorrow [today] to sort out the matter,” she said.
Currently lying ninth on the 12-team log table with six points from 16 games, Cobbe Sisters have won three matches and lost 13, including five through forfeiture of points. Defending champions Kukoma Diamonds are at the summit with 30 points from 15 wins while Gerald Tasaukadala Sister anchor the table with two points from 15 fixtures.
Last weekend, Cobbe Sisters donated points and lost by 150-0 margin after failing to fulfil their fixtures against Diamonds and Blantyre Tremors.
This weekend, nine games have been lined up in the league at Blantyre Youth Centre with five to be played on Saturday and four on Sunday.
On Saturday, Diamonds face Chileka Sisters, Shizaella Queens are up against Tasaukadala and First Choice Tigresses while fourth-placed Imosys take on Machinjiri Sisters. Tremors battle it out against Mubas Sisters.
On Sunday, Tasaukadala entertain Tigresses before Shizaella and Machinjiri tussle against Chileka and Prison Queens, respectively. An encounter between Diamonds and Mubas will wrap up the weekend fixtures