Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) has finally accepted their England counterparts’ invitation for three test matches between the two teams in December.
NAM president Rosy Chinunda yesterday confirmed that they would use the test matches, at the Echo Arena in Liverpool (14 December), the Copper Box in London (17 December) and Worcester University (20 December), to prepare the Queens for next August World Netball Cup in Sydney, Australia.
“We also have an invitation from Jamaica, but so far, we have accepted England’s invitation with the blessings of government. England will meet part of the expenses. It is important to play top teams if we want to break into the top four. Our rivals, South Africa, have established a pool of four teams, but we are inactive most of the times,” Chinunda said.
However, Chinunda hinted that they would draft in the Queens some youthful players. Jamaica has also invited the Queens, rated fifth in the world and number one in Africa, for test matches next year.
Before hosting Malawi, England will descend to Australia and New Zealand for other test matches from next month. England will take on Australia on October 19 in Bendigo and Canberra on October 23, before crossing the Tasman to face New Zealand in Rotorua on October 28 and Palmerston North on October 31.
England are rated fourth in the world whereas the Queens finished fifth at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland after edging out rivals South Africa’s Spar Proteas 53-43.