Mirza and Malik in India-Pakistan match

Indian tennis player and the former Pakistan cricket captain decide to tie the nuptial knot and are likely to be based in Dubai.

A combination photo of Sania Mirza and Shoaib Malik. The latter is currently serving a one-year ban by Pakistan Cricket Board for indiscipline.
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Speculation since last night that the former Pakistan cricket captain Shoaib Malik is set to wed the Indian tennis player Sania Mirza has been confirmed by both parties, though details of the wedding have yet to be announced. The duo have reportedly decided to move to Dubai after the marriage which is expected to be in the second week of April. Asked for his reaction in the event of Miss Mirza achieving glory at international events such as the Olympics, Mr Malik said: "If Sania wins a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics or the Asian Games, I will be the proudest husband in the world." Mr Malik is believed to have tweeted this morning confirming the news, but Miss Mirza's father Imran telephoned a reporter to say the tweet was not from Mr Malik himself, who is currently playing in a local Twenty20 tournament in Sharjah.

The final stages of the relationship are believed to have materialised when Mr Malik was in Dubai to play two T20 games against England in a stop-gap capacity as captain while Miss Mirza was also playing in the Dubai Tennis Open. Mr Malik has a troubled connection with the Indian city of Hyderabad from where Miss Mirza comes. He was involved in a controversy in 2008 when a lady called Ayesha Siddiqui surfaced claiming Mr Malik married her via internet in 2002. Mr Malik first denied the claim but later settled the matter out of court. Sania Mirza, 23, too was engaged to a childhood friend Sohrab Mirza six months back but called off the engagement recently citing incompatibility. Incidentally, a Pakistan channel that first reported the matters said that the two have been in a relationship during the last six months until Mr Malik's mother went to Hyderabad with the marriage proposal this week. The family of the bride-to-be has already applied for visas to visit Pakistan. kshyam@thenational.ae