Chipo Sabeta in LIVERPOOL, England
A World Cup, any World Cup, is supposed to be a dream platform for any professional player.
For the Zimbabwe netball team players, the ongoing tournament was a moment to cherish, but it’s turning out to be so much more.
The Gems are making history at the ongoing Netball World Cup in Liverpool but some of the players are at the verge of joining lucrative and professional netball leagues in the world following recent inquiries by Australian top side Vixens Netball Club.
This publication can exclusively reveal that goal shooter Sharon Bwanali (22) and teenage defender Claris Kwaramba (19) are on the Australian top league side’s radar following their performance at the World Cup.
The duo took part in all matches played in Liverpool and might only come back to Zimbabwe to bid farewell to their respective families and teams.
Kwaramba plays for Platinums Queens while Bwanali turns up for Harare City.
Kwaramba has been starting for the Gems while Bwanali has been used as an impact player for Lloyd Makunde’s side.
Her game changing techniques has earned her respect from many neutrals while Vixens couldn’t resist taking the player’s details and making solid their move towards her. Makunde confirmed Vixens’ formal enquiry about the duo.
“I can confirm that a number of scouts and coaches have been inquiring about our players. We came here as underdogs but we are now the talk of the town. The girls have risen to the occasion and credit goes to them. Australian side, Melbourne Vixens Netball Club have approached Sharon and Claris but they haven’t finalised anything at the moment. I will be glad if it works for them and join lucrative leagues in the world.
“It is an international exposure that gives them recognition and their hardwork is slowly paying off. It will also benefit the Zimbabwean national team when we have netballers playing in professional leagues. One can tell from the experience that the likes of Joice Takaidza who is playing in Australia bring,” Makunde said.
Aged 22 and 19 respectively, Bwanali and Kwaramba have age on the side while it’s beneficial for the Australian sides to grab raw talent from Africa.
Bwanali has been used as an impact substitute but her flawless and selflessness during play has gained her the respect from opponents.
Bwanali admits that the ongoing netball World Cup is her only chance and platform to cross over for a greener pasture.
“There are times when you don’t expect the coach to motivate you. This stage is enough to give it all and make a name.
“I have not been starting many games but my strength is on reading and interpreting the game. It is a blessing in disguise that I start from the bench because it gives me an opportunity to come in as an impact player. I like it that way,” she said.
Regarding her move to Australian side Bwanali said it will be a dream come true.
“They engaged me after the encounter against Australia. They took all my details and they made their intentions clear. I am praying that this deal goes through. It will be a dream come true and life changing. It’s a life changing opportunity for me. Their team manager talked to me. I am confident that I will make the grade and fit,” she added.
Goal defender and the Gems vice-captain Felisitus Kwangwa, who is leading with the most defensive interceptions at the World Cup is also on demand, with England sides showing interests.
Besides goal shooter, Takaidza, who plays in Australia, the Gems have Adelaide Muskwe who plays for Sevens Stars in the Vitality Netball super league in England while the rest of the team turns up for local teams across the country.