It is suspected that South Africa deliberately chose not to take part in this year's Confederation of Southern Africa Netball Associations (Cosana) netball tournament in order not to spoil their celebratory mood having beaten Malawi in the inaugural Diamond Challenge which they hosted last month.
The Cosana tournament was postponed at the 11th hour and Malawi were informed of the development on their way to the airport.
After South Africa withdrew from the tournament, Zambia and Botswana also followed suit, forcing the organisers to cancel the tournament.
Ironically, Botswana and Zambia also took part in the Diamond Challenge and it is rumoured that they were influenced by South Africa to withdraw from the Cosana tournament.
According to reports, South Africa are interested for a Quad Series involving top netball side in the world — Australia, New Zealand and England to be held in Australia and New Zealand next month.
The Proteas coach Elize Kotze is quoted as saying though they are ranked sixth in the world, it was a complement to be invited to the Quad Series at the expense of third-ranked Jamaica.
"We have been making steady progress," she is quoted as saying on Netball-sa.co.za.
"We were able to beat Jamaica for the first time in 45 years when we toured there earlier this year, and then we had a very good series against Northern Ireland.
"We beat Malawi to win the Diamond Challenge and netball in South Africa is definitely on an upward trajectory. The top countries have recognised that we are a very competitive team," she said.
Meanwhile, the Netball Association of Malawi were reportedly to have been advised not to participate at the Diamond Challenge but consider other options including sparring matches against Jamaica or England.
Well-placed source at the mother netball body said Malawi National Council of Sports advised them to travel to Jamaica.
"It seems Sports Council had an insight of what would happen [in South Africa]," said the source.
"However, most of us felt that the South African tournament was viable because of monetary returns.
"We knew that we could make a lot of money because of the appearance fee rather than going to Jamaica or England," the source said.
Nam president Rose Chinunda could neither confirm nor deny the report.
"I don't recall Sports Council advising us not to go," she said.
"Otherwise we had to go to prove our superiority in the region."
Sports Council administration manager Henry Mereka declined to comment.
The Queens were hoping to get their revenge during the Cosana tournament.
Nam has since demanded Cosana to compensate the body after blowing over K4 million on the failed trip.