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Wed 31 Mar 2010 09:45 AM

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Indian tennis star Sania Mirza to wed Pakistani cricketer

Shoaib Malik, Mirza to settle in Dubai post-marriage due to take place next month.

Indian tennis star Sania Mirza to wed Pakistani cricketer
ONE LOVE: The couple will settle in Dubai after their marriage. (Getty Images)


Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik and Indian tennis player Sania Mirza, two of South Asia's best known sports personalities, are to marry in April, the players said on Tuesday.


Mirza, who has a recurring wrist injury that has affected her game, said she would continue to play after the wedding.


"I'm very happy, we're all very happy," Mirza told reporters in her home town of Hyderabad. "It's still a few days away or a few weeks away."


Malik, an all-rounder who captained Pakistan  [ see pics ] between 2007 and 2009, told television channels in Pakistan: "We both are also happy and it's happening next month".


The couple will settle in Dubai after their marriage, Mirza said.


According to Pakistan's The Nation daily, the couple will not be able to move in to Ajman’s tallest tower, Burj Manara. "The former Pakistani captain was promised a luxurious apartment in Ajman by a real estate company - Al-Barakah Group. Malik was to be rewarded for his captaincy during the four-nation Twenty20 tournament which was held in Canada in 2008," a report in The Nation said.


"However... the plan is likely to be put on hold."


The 23-year-old Mirza [ see pics ] was the first Indian to win a WTA tour event in 2005 and reached her highest world ranking of 27 two years ago although she has since slipped to 92nd.


Malik, 28, has been fighting a 12-month ban by the Pakistan Cricket Board for poor performance and indiscipline.


Marriages between citizens of the rival nations are not entirely uncommon, with Muslim families who migrated to Pakistan after the nation was carved out in 1947 maintaining ties with families who remained in India.


But the news has made headlines across India and Pakistan given the sporting and political divide between the countries - the wedding would be a unique union bridging the bitter rivalry between the nuclear-armed South Asian nations.


Besides, the marriage comes barely two months after Mirza broke off her engagement to a childhood friend.


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