In cricket, Shoaib Malik knows I’ll always support India: Sania Mirza
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When Sania Mirza landed in Beijing last week to play the China Open, she discovered that she could watch the World Twenty20 live in her hotel room — a pleasant change from the indiscernible television programs the players are sometimes forced to pass their time watching while on tour. And there was even more joy for the 25-year-old as she could catch husband Shoaib Malik making Pakistan's highest score during their much-anticipated clash against India.
During the last high-profile meeting between India and Pakistan in the 50-over World Cup semifinal, Sania had playfully tweeted to her husband that the 'war is on'. But this 'sledging' is always good natured, she says. "Whenever the two countries play, it's not a heavy duty fight between us at home as people make it sound. That's also because he's the one playing on the field so he's not around and he knows I support India and he also knows I support his game," says Sania, who was in Delhi after playing the doubles final in China.
The cricket fan that she is, Saina wears her love for India on her sleeve but when Malik has a heartbreaking loss, such as the one to Sri Lanka in the semifinal this time, she slips into wife mode. "As a sportsperson I understand what losses are like and how tough it is to get over a big one. This time I know the Pakistan team was very hurt, more so because it was a World Cup and also because they knew they had a real shot at winning it," she says.
So how does she console her husband, especially when she is not around? "It depends on whether he wants to talk about the match or not. I understand that and respect his choice as I know most times you don't want to talk about losses. This time especially, they were flying the very next day to South Africa and they play a match tomorrow," she says.