Malawi national netball team has never beaten giants of world netball New Zealand but on Sunday the Queens stunned the Silver Ferns 57-53 at the Commonwealth Games being held at Gold Coast in Australia.
It was a result that has embarrassed the Ferns prompting the media there to declare that the Queens have plunged the Ferns into their deepest and darkest crisis.
This comes at the backdrop that the Queens lost another giant in world netball England by a staggering result, 49-74 and to less-fancied Uganda by 52-54.
On Tuesday the Queens beat Scotland by a whisker, 50-51 and it could have ended in a draw because the Scots missed a penalty in the final seconds of the match to hand Malawi the win.
On Wednesday, the Queens face Wales and if the Queens lose this game, the Ferns are really going to be more upset.
But for the moment Malawians can savour some pride that the Queens have finally beaten an almighty team and this might be the beginning of more good results.
What spoiled this victory is the loss to Uganda and the single point win against Scotland. Ahead of the Pool B game against Wales, certainly fans will be on the edge of their seats here at home hoping for a winning but knowing they can lose it altogether.
But let us stand up to the Queens for this feat. The New Zealanders are upset but they have forgotten that the Queens once beat England at the Fast 5 tournament.
It certainly means that Malawi netball is coming of more age and we certainly need to nurture this progress by giving them lots of opportunities to spar with these giant teams.
I have said it before that we don’t have the infrastructure to invite these top teams here for Test Series, which are like friendlies but always are recognised by the world netball governing body IFNA.
Teams like New Zealand, England, Jamaica, South Africa, Australia, Wales and others take Test Series very seriously because they are important in knowing and studying your opponents.
Malawi have been invited to some Test Series and it’s usually England. New Zealand invited the Queens to an invitational Taini Jamison Trophy last month as preparations for these Commonwealth Games in which the Feens won 75-42.
The Ferns invited the Queens probably to study the current style of play but it has backfired on them.
Maybe we should also afford the Queens to play lots of Test Series by letting them challenge these top teams. Malawi can be asking these teams to host them at Malawi’s expense for the hosts costs.
And probably negotiate that the Queens collect the money from tickets. Mind you, tickets for netball games in these top netball countries don’t come any cheap.
This is food for thought for the sports authorities.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :