Newlywed Malala ‘plans Dubai trip’ if Pakistan reach T20 cricket World Cup final

Nobel Peace Prize winner's father says couple are first staying in London to watch Pakistan semi-final against Australia

Malala Yousafzai and her new husband Asser Malik are putting their honeymoon on hold to watch from London as Pakistan take on Australia in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup in Abu Dhabi, her father has revealed.

“We are delighted for Malala and Asser but like so many Pakistanis, they are cricket mad,” Ziauddin Yousafzai said.

“On Thursday, we will all be watching Pakistan in the semi-final and that includes Malala and Asser, even though they have just got married.

"They will be at home in front of the television closely following the game. It's a huge match and none of us want to miss it. We are all praying for a Pakistan victory.”

He said the couple had not ruled out the possibility of travelling to Dubai if the team make it to Sunday's final the T20 World Cup.

“There are no definite plans but if Pakistan do get to the final, then it would not surprise me if Malala and Asser go to Dubai to watch it," Mr Yousafzai said.

"We'll have to wait and see what happens in the semi-final first."

Malala and Asser, a manager with Pakistan cricket's governing board, were married in the city of Birmingham on Tuesday and celebrated at home with their families.

“Today marks a precious day in my life. Asser and I tied the knot to be partners for life,” Ms Yousafzai said on Twitter.

“We celebrated a small nikkah ceremony at home in Birmingham with our families. Please send us your prayers. We are excited to walk together for the journey ahead."

Thousands of people rushed to congratulate Ms Yousafzai, 24, in reply to her Twitter post, including former US president Bill Clinton's daughter Chelsea Clinton, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other officials from across the world.

At the age of 15, Ms Yousafzai survived being shot by the Pakistani Taliban in 2012.

She was flown to Birmingham on a UAE air ambulance to receive medical treatment and made England her home.

In 2014, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her activism for girls' education.

Ms Yousafzai graduated from the University of Oxford but then deferred her place at Harvard in the US to focus on running the Malala Fund with her father.

Malala Yousafzai's life in pictures

She founded the organisation to implement education programmes for girls around the world.

Ms Yousafzai is loved in many parts of the world, especially in western countries, for her courage and her eloquence in promoting the rights of girls and women. In Pakistan, her activism has divided public opinion.

In July this year, she told British Vogue magazine that she was not sure whether she would ever marry.

“I still don’t understand why people have to get married," Ms Yousafzai said. "If you want to have a person in your life, why do you have to sign marriage papers, why can’t it just be a partnership?”

The comment drew criticism from many social media users in Pakistan.

Updated: November 11, 2021, 9:51 AM