Malawi Queens head coach Mary Waya has insisted that stay-away shooter Mwawi Kumwenda is still a crucial part of her national netball squad which gears up for the Netball World Championships in Sydney next year.
Waya told Nyasa Times in an exclusive interview at White House Hotel in Worcester on Saturday night after Malawi Queens lost 65-44 to England at the University Arena in Worcester.
Kumwenda was not part of the Malawi squad which also lost to England during Wednesday’s match 36-68 at London’s Copper Box Arena.
She also was out of the squad which competed at the World Fast5 Championship in New Zealand last month and Malawi had six straight defeats.
Coach Waya said the towering Kumwenda is very much part of Malawi Queens.
Asked to explain Kumwenda’s omission from the squad for the England series, Waya said the player had been called but snubbed the national duty during the New Zealand games.
“She has her own private issues, when she finishes with her private issues, she will join us,” said Waya.
“We cannot interfere with her private life,” Waya added.
Kumwenda earned the wrath of Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) when she pushed the association to pay Queens players their allowances owed to them about K100 000 ($200) each from the 2013 Glasgow Commonwealth Games in London.
NAM general secretary Carol Bapu in a separate interview in London said Kumwenda situation is not at “breaking point.”
Meanwhile, Waya told Nyasa Times that the players who took part in the two-match England series forms “part of the team that is going to the world championship.”
She hailed Laureen Ngwira who was given the role of a shooter from her usual goal keeping position, saying she has “improved tremendously.”
Waya also praised Malawi centre Takondwa Lwazi as an up-and-coming star.
During the Sky Sports live coverage of the Malawi-England match on Saturday, former England netball star Tracey Neville who was a pundit on the commentary panel, described Lwazi as “a rocket”.
Neville praised Lwazi, saying she lit up the mid-court with her lightning-quick pace.
Waya also hailed “fantastic” goal attacker Sindi Simtowe.
Meanwhile, Malawi Queens have been drawn with rivals South Africa Spar Proteas in an otherwise easy Pool C for the 2015 Netball World Cup to start on August 7 2015 in Australia. Other countries in Pool C are lowly ranked Singapore and Sri Lanka.
Zambia and Uganda are the other African teams in the competition.
This edition will incorporate two group stages with the top two teams progressing to the higher ranked matches, culminating in two semi-finals and medal matches on August 16th, according to International Netball Federation (INF).Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :