Tennis star Sania Mirza remarked that her wedding with Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik should be looked at as a simple wedding like that of any other Indian girl and that she is not trying to make any statement on India-Pakistan relations through it.
Speaking to the media late on Tuesday evening at her residence, Sania said the wedding would be held in Hyderabad on April 15 and she was delighted at the whole idea. “There is mutual admiration and more importantly the two families are really happy at it,” she added.
“The wedding-cum-reception will be in Hyderabad and the venue would be decided later,” Sania revealed.
“Essentially, the sporting career will continue for both of us. I hope to play for my country and wish he plays for Pakistan for a long time to come,” Sania said to a query. “I knew him since the last seven years and found him to be very affable and simple,” she said. “I saw him playing and am a big fan of his batting and I remember his stunning knock in the Bangladesh Premier League some time back. I wish he keeps playing for the country,” she said.
The tennis star from Hyderabad also brushed aside whether she was worried about the controversies surrounding Shoaib Malik (when referred to his reported marriage to a Hyderabad girl some time back). “I want to live in the present and not look back. I do believe even Shoaib also believes in this,” she replied.
Referring to the strained relations between India and Pakistan and asked whether she feels that things would improve, Sania said that she would be lying if she was not aware of this factor. “But, well, if things improve, there is nothing like that,” she remarked. “I cannot say whether I am setting an example [by marrying a Pakistani sportsperson] for others. These things don't matter to me,” she said.
Whom will you support after marriage – India or Pakistan? “My country India and my would-be husband Shoaib Malik,” was the reply in a flash from Sania.
Sania said she would be settling down in Dubai after the wedding and despite the fact that she would be away from her family, she still looked at Dubai as her ‘second home' ever since she started playing there. “Yes, Dubai is our favourite place,” Imran Mirza, father of Sania, intervened to say.