Malawi national netball team, the Queens — of captain Jane Chimaliro, Joyce Mvula, Sindi Simtowe, Takondwa Lwazi, Thandie Galeta, Martha Dambo, Grace Mwafulirwa, Laureen Ngwira, Shabel Bengo, Towera Vinkhumbo and Mwawi Kumwenda — arrived in South Africa ahead of the 2023 Netball World Cup.
A statement from Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) general secretary, Isaac Chimwala the team — led by NAM president Abigail Shariff — were welcomed at OR Tambo International Airport by Malawi High Commissioner to South Africa, Stella Ndau.
This is the first-ever Netball World Cup to be hosted by Africa and among the 16 participating teams in Cape Town will be hosts South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Malawi — ensuring a powerful African presence.
Malawi Queens open the campaign in Group B on July 28 against Scotland, followed by England the next day and Barbados on July 30.
Ahead of the Netball World Cup, Malawi maintained its 6th position in the rankings which are led by Australia followed by New Zealand on 2nd, England on 3rd, Jamaica on 4th and South Africa 5th.
Malawi’s celebrated netball legend, Mary Waya will be joined by former veteran African players from Uganda and Zimbabwe as among top analysts for the tournament.
She is recognised for the important and glamorous role for having played more than 200 matches for Malawi and is joined by Ruth Meeme, who represented Uganda at the 2015 and 2019 World Cups, and Perpetua Siyachitema, who captained Zimbabwe at the 2019 Netball World Cup.
The format is that group preliminaries will be followed by stage two preliminaries (from July 31) before the playoffs (August 4 and 5) and the placement matches, culminating in the August 6 final.
The first preliminaries will be played by four groups of four teams with the top three from each progress to the second preliminaries stage, which will have top three teams from groups A and B forming group F; top three from groups C and D forming group G.
The bottom four finishers from groups A-D will compete against one another in group E and if teams in groups F and G have already played each other in the preliminaries stage one, these results will carry through to preliminary stage two.
The teams finishing 3rd and 4th in groups F and G compete for final positions 5th to 8th; 3rd in one group plays 4th in the other and the winners play off for 5th place and the losers for 7th.
The teams that finish 5th in groups F and G play off for 9th and 10th places while those that finish 1st and 2nd in group E play off for 13th and 14th place with teams that finish 3rd and fourth in group E play off for the 15th and 16th places.
The teams finishing 1st and 2nd in groups F and G go through to the semi-finals and the top placed team in each group faces the second-placed team in the other group.
The teams finishing 1st and 2nd in groups F and G go through to the semi-finals with the top placed team in each group faces the 2nd placed team in the other group while the winners of each semi-final compete for gold in the final with the losers playing for bronze.