The newly released INF World Rankings which have been updated to reflect matches played up until 30th June, 2018 show that Botswana is now ranked 22nd globally. This new update of INF World rankings means that Malawi and South Africa automatically qualify for next year’s Netball World Cup which will be held in Liverpool.
From now on it will be a race against time for Botswana as the African championships are slated for 13th to 18th August in Zambia with eight countries out to grab the two slots left after South Africa and Malawi automatically qualified because of their rankings. The other countries taking part at the African championships are Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Malawi, Uganda, South Africa and hosts Zambia.
A netball official who spoke to this publication indicated that Netball in the country has the capacity to improve and be in the global top 20 if Botswana Netball Association (BONA) directs more resources toward the sport.
“As you might recall, since Botswana hosted the Gaborone 2017 Netball Youth World Cup, the team seems to have been neglected due to lack of financial resources,” he says. This was also validated in March this year by BONA Vice President Technical Lorato Thebekgosi who said they had drafted a comprehensive plan to keep the youngsters together but they failed due to financial constraints.
Botswana has dropped in rankings over the years and for the first time in history lost to Namibia at the Namibian Debmarine Pent series where they came out fourth. In all their games, Botswana only beat Zimbabwe 43-41.