Malawi Cricket Union (MCU) has groomed a ladies national team to participate at their first ever international tournament, the 7-Nation T20, to be held in Botswana from August 20-26.
A statement from MCU president Vivek Ganesan participating teams are Mozambique, Lesotho, Malawi, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Namibia and Botswana to be played in 20 Overs at the BCA Ovals in Gaborone.
This will be a historic tournament as the International Cricket Council (ICC) has officially sanctioned this tournament and all teams will receive a world ranking based on their performance.
"It is truly an honour that our Malawi ladies cricket team have the opportunity to compete in this prestigious tournament, the ladies are working very hard in preparing for this," Ganesan said in the press release.
"I would like to thank Malawi National Council of Sports, Botswana Cricket Association (BCA), Africa Cricket Confederation Region 5 (ACCR5), Africa Cricket Association (ACA) and International Cricket Council (ICC) for this opportunity and for their support and encouragement".
Ganesan also added that there is need for more support to further grow the sport.
"There is still quite a lot of work to do, especially with women's sport in Malawi and in our case cricket. The ladies have the athletic ability and the want to perform well and succeed, we are doing everything we can to facilitate this and help them grow in confidence.
"I would like to call on everyone in Malawi regardless of race, religion, class or gender to please show your support for these amazing young women who are representing this wonderful country at this prestigious tournament," said Ganesan, who is also the development director at the ACCR5, Southern & Central Africa Regional representative at the ACA and regional representative for Africa at the ICC.
Andre Botha, Malawi Cricket Union's CEO and former world cup cricketer is working closely with the team and the support staff in preparation. Botha is also the head coach of the Malawi men's national team.
"I would like to wish the Malawi ladies national cricket team and support staff all the very best in their upcoming ICC tournament in Botswana," Botha said. "For the first time ever, the ladies will be ranked and put on a pedestal with the best in the world.
"In saying that, it is going to be a very tough tournament playing against some very good teams but with the talent we saw, hard work and determination, I am very confident that the ladies will do us very proud.
"We are also in the process of selecting a Malawi national senior men's team who will be representing Malawi in a T20 World Cup qualifier and and T20 Africa Cup qualifier also in Botswana later this year.
"We traveled to Lilongwe last weekend for a training camp and introducing the PITCHVISION training system to players. Cricket in Malawi is gaining momentum and the excitement is spreading very quickly.
"There is even interest from Malawian citizens living in South Africa and Zimbabwe who compete at a high standard of cricket in the respective countries. Exciting times are ahead for Malawi cricket," Botha said.
The ladies' squad are training at St. Andrews International School in Blantyre four times a week - Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
Ganesan added that the women's cricket program started five years ago in 2012, and all the players were trained at the Cricket Academy, which is the development partner of MCU.
He added that the players were identified by their skill, team work, commitment, hard work, behaviour and potential.