Karachi: Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) chief Dilawar Abbas has said that India’s tennis sensation Sania Mirza should represent Pakistan in international tennis tournaments after entering into wedlock with cricketer Shoaib Malik.
“It is great news for our tennis community that Sania Mirza is getting married to Shoaib Malik. We welcome her and hope that she would become a Pakistani national and play for us in future. She has a great future ahead and we would be delighted if she plays for Pakistan,” The News quoted Abbas, as saying.
“Asian women traditionally follow their husbands which is why I’m hopeful that someday she would be inspired by Shoaib to play for Pakistan,” he added.
Sania has already made it clear that she would continue representing India even after her marriage.
Abbas said that even if Sania decides to continue playing for India, he hopes that she would associate herself with Pakistan tennis at some point of time.
“She can encourage our girls to take up tennis, she can inspire them to become world class players. We would hope that Sania would lend a helping hand to women’s tennis in Pakistan,” he said.
Abbas even suggested that Sania could team up with Pakistan’s Aisam-ul-Haq on the mixed-doubles circuit.
“Both Sania and Aisam are really good doubles players. I believe that their team would not just achieve great results internationally but will also help bridge the gap between India and Pakistan,” he said.
News regarding Sania marrying Shoaib were splashed in the media earlier this week, but controversy surrounded the sports couple soon after with reports of Shoaib already being married to a Hyderabad based girl, Ayesha Siddiqui.
MA Siddiqui, Ayesha’s father, had alleged that Shoiab had married his daughter over telephone in June 2002.
Siddiqui has even threatened to take legal action against Shoaib for marrying a second girl without divorcing his wife.
“As per law, Ayesha will be the first wife and Sania will be second. I want divorce for my daughter. I will seek legal recourse. I will sue Shoiab because he has wronged us,” Siddiqui told media persons.
However, Shoaib has denied the charges, saying he was only engaged to Ayesha and the marriage was called off because of problems between the two families.