While Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik is at the fag end of his career as a cricketer, his wife Sania Mirza is going through the best phase of her tennis career that has taken off in the doubles format despite having started off primarily as a singles player.
The 34-year-old believes that the Indian tennis ace deserves a lot of praise for excelling at the highest level in a sport which is much tougher compared to a game like cricket.
The cross-border marriage of Sania and Malik seems to have done a lot of good for both sportsmen having done pretty well individually but according to Malik, it is his wife that deserves extra praise considering the challenges an individual sport like tennis throws at you.
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“Tennis is a much tougher sport than cricket. I’m not saying this because my wife is tough (laughs) but an individual sport like tennis is actually tougher than a team sport like cricket,” Malik said at the Pakistan Super League (PSL) draft which is currently underway. “There are places to hide in a game like cricket but in tennis, there’s nowhere to go and you are right in the middle of the action all throughout the game.”
“I’ve seen her (Sania) playing one day in a city without knowing where she will be playing next time she is out on the field because once you a lose a match in tennis you are out of the particular tournament. To raise yourself up mentally having such thoughts at the back of your mind is really challenging. In team sports, you have coaches and the support staff as well as your teammates to back you but it is much tougher in the case of an individual sport,” he added.
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Malik also expressed hope that his side Karachi Kings would do much better than their showing in the first edition of the T20 league where they finished fourth out of five teams at the end of the group stage matches. Malik, who had stepped down from captaincy during the latter stages of the first edition is pinning his hopes on better execution of plans and teamwork to help change his side’s fortunes second time around.
“The first edition was tough because no one knew where a cricketer is going. But this year most of the stuff is planned. I think we’ve done our homework and that’s why we know whom to pick and whom not to pick. We picked our team before the draft and we are more or less settled now,” Malik said.