Malawi Queens to miss South Africa netball Tri-Nations: Financial problems

Malawi has lost a golden opportunity to tune up for Africa Netball championship it will host next month after failing to make it to the South Africa for a three-day Under-21 Tri Nations tournament starting Saturday to Monday.

South Africa invited Malawi and another emerging netball force Botswana for the Tri-Nations tournament scheduled for May 18-20 at the Rembrandt Hall at the LC de Villiers Sports Centre in Pretoria.

Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) president Rose Chinunda said on Thursday Malawi would not be able to participate at the games because of financial problems.

Chinunda said the hosts offered to pay for air tickets, accommodation and a modest lunch allowance for a 16-member delegation.

Chinunda: Financial problems

Chinunda: Financial problems

“They did invite us but we will not make it because of financial problems as we are preparing to host the Africa championship,” Chinunda said.

She said the Malawi Under-21 team would also participate in Africa Championship as the hosts are eligible to feature two teams.

The development is likely going to disappoint South Africa, whose coach Dorettee Badenhorst, was banking on the Malawi side to give them a chance to prepare for World Under-21 championships in Glasgow, Scotland in August.

“I’m very pleased we are getting an opportunity to play Malawi, because they have one of the strongest under-21 teams in Africa,” Badenhorst told SuperSport.

“It will be very good preparation for the world championships because we are going to have to play very well to beat them.

“The last time we played them, at the Cosana Games, they were No 1 in Africa.”

Malawi withdrew after the draw for the tournament was done.

South Africa will open the series, which will be televised on SuperSport ,against Botswana at 3pm on Saturday.

Malawi would have faced Botswana at 3pm on Sunday and South Africa in the final match at 6:30pm on Monday.

South Africa senior netball team Proteas are expected to curtain-raise the tournament against a Gauteng Invitation.

Badenhorst said the under-21 team was in good condition and there were no injury problems.

“You can practice as much as you like, and hold as many training camps as possible, but what is really important is time on the court, when the players really learn to play as a team.”

Botswana also have a strong team and competition among the three leading netball nations in Africa is expected to be fierce.

The Tri-Nations series will be played at the Rembrandt Hall at the LC de Villiers Sports Centre in Pretoria on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

South Africa will open the series against Botswana at 3pm on Saturday.

Malawi and Botswana meet at 3pm on Sunday and South Africa play Malawi in the final match at 6:30pm on Monday. All three matches are being televised on SuperSport.

Netball fans will also have an opportunity to see the Proteas in action on Saturday, when the senior team play a Gauteng Invitation side as a curtain-raiser to the main match.

Badenhorst said the under-21 team was in good condition and there were no injury problems.

“You can practice as much as you like, and hold as many training camps as possible, but what is really important is time on the court, when the players really learn to play as a team.”

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