Publication ranks Mwawi 4th world’s best netballer

Mwawi Kumwenda

Malawi’s netball export, Mwawi Kumwenda has been named the world’s fourth best netballer following an annual poll from Netball Scoop, an online publication.

Ten judges, five writers from Netball Scoop and five other judges from the world of media and coaching were involved in the selection of the players.

According to netballscoop.com, “Each person was asked to list their top five netballers in the world based on form throughout 2020, and rank them from one to five. In total, 17 players got a mention, with four of them getting at least one top nod from the judges. Incredibly, when the votes were tallied up, the top three players were separated by just two votes”.

Kumwenda, who plays for the Malawi national netball team and Melbourne Vixens in Australia amassed 13 votes to get into the top four.

A brief description of her exploits read: “The 2020 Super Netball competition began with Mwai Kumwenda sharing court time with Melbourne Vixens’ other two shooters, Caitlin Thwaites and Tegan Philip. Over the course of the season, she lifted her game to such a high level that come finals time, she was an indispensable and integral part of the premiership-winning team at goal shooter. Her form peaked at season’s end with a masterful display in the grand final, where she shot 47/50.

Kumwenda has turned in many fine performances over the course of her netball career. But it’s doubtful any of them were better than the show she put on in the SSN decider. Her flexibility, poise and confidence saw her get the better of Australian goal keeper Courtney Bruce and deservedly take out the player of the match award. 2021 will bring new challenges. Thwaites and Philip have now retired, and Kumwenda will have to shoulder even more responsibility”,

One of the judges Lisa Alexander was quoted saying Mwai combined her technical prowess with complete understanding of her team and the game plan, culminating in a superr match in the Suncorp Netball grand final.

The towering shooter reacted to the news through the Netball Association of Malawi Facebook page saying she felt honoured.

It's an honor to be one of the best in the world. Coming from a huge injury and be amongst the best it’s a self motivation to work hard. Above all Thanks to Almighty God for this amazing talent and l dedicate this to the late Griffin Saenda, who spotted me and lam here as the best because of him. May his soul continue resting in peace,” she said.

The three top players include Ameliaranne Ekenasio from New Zealand who got 31 votes, seconded by Liz Watson from Australia at 30 votes and Jhaniele Fowler from Jamaica with 29 votes.

Netball Scoop is an online netball website which covers the top netball leagues of Australian, England and New Zealand and international and world netball.