Malawi Queens will go straight into camp upon their return from Birmingham, England to prepare for the 2023 Netball World Cup qualifiers slated for Pretoria, South Africa between August 20 and 27.
The Queens are expected to arrive tomorrow from the 2022 Commonwealth Games where they finished seventh.
For the first time, the Queens will compete for a 2023 Netball World Cup slot after losing automatic qualification privilege following their recent drop on world rankings from sixth to seventh.
South Africa and Uganda are expected to participate as a formality, having already qualified by virtue of being ranked fifth and sixth, respectively, globally.
Previously, the Queens were earning automatic qualification slots, but this year, they are required to compete for the two remaining slots for African teams.
They have been drawn in Group B alongside Uganda, e-Swatini, Zambia, and Kenya. Group A has continental champions South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Namibia and Botswana.
Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) general secretary Isaac Chimwala yesterday said the Queens will arrive home from the 2022 Commonwealth Games in England tomorrow and will go straight into camp in preparation for the qualifiers.
He said government, through the Malawi National Council of Sports, has already paid participation fees for the qualifying games and will provide funding for the camping.
Queens coach Peace Chawinga-Kaluwa was not available for comment yesterday.
Sports Council spokesperson Edgar Ntulumbwa yesterday said they expect an improved performance by the Queens at the qualifiers.
“It was a bad experience for the Queens to be condemned to seventh place fight at the Commonwealth Games. We expect them do much better in South Africa where Netball World Cup qualification should be a priority,” he said.
Queens lost the sixth ranking to Uganda, who have recently been beating them in various competitions including at the just-concluded Commonwealth Games, where Malawi lost 56-43 to Uganda’s She Cranes in their last Group B clash to be condemned to successive seventh/eighth place play-off.
The result was preceded by a 59-43 defeat in the Pent Series in Namibia before a 44-44 draw in the 2021 African Netball Championship.