SYDNEY (Malawi NewsNow) — A New Zealand publication, Otago Daily Times has described Malawi Queens shooter Mwai Kumwenda as “dangerous weapon” and a a player to watch the 2015 netball World Cup.
Malawi automatically qualified for this year’s World Cup in Sydney as the fifth-ranked team in the world.
Kumwenda who plays in New Zealand for Mainland Tactix club is the only professional player in Malawi’s squad.
The 1.83m shooter completed her second season in the ANZ Championship in May, finishing the season with an impressive 91.6% success rate on 371 from 405 attempts.
Kumwenda won the best new talent award in her debut season last year, and gives Malawi a dangerous weapon inside the circle.
“For a team that did not have enough money to compete in the African championships in Botswana last month, and does not have access to gyms or indoor training facilities, the presence of Kumwenda is a huge boost,” reported Otago Daily Times.
WORLD CUP PROSPECTS
Malawi, the top-seeded team in pool C, will open its campaign against South Africa on day one.
With Singapore and Sri Lanka unlikely to pose a threat, the all-African clash will surely decide who wins the pool.
However, finishing second in the pool is not necessarily a bad thing because it would probably mean avoiding Australia in the next round, which features the top eight teams splitting into two pools of four.
The Silver Ferns and Malawi will meet in the next round if both win their pools, or they both finish second.
Malawi pushed the Ferns to the brink at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow a year ago, losing by just three goals (50-47).
It would be a major surprise if Malawi did not advance to the next round, but whether or not the Queens can advance to the semifinals for the first time in history is another question altogether.
A lack of preparation certainly will not help. A shortage in funds means the team is playing only one warm-up match, against Trinidad and Tobago, in the lead-up to the World Cup.