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How tennis met cricket across borders: A timeline of Sania Mirza and Shoaib Malik's relationship

From how they met to why are divorce talks on between the pair from India and Pakistan, let's have a look:

How tennis met cricket across borders: A timeline of Sania Mirza and Shoaib Malik's relationship
Sania Mirza and Shoaib Malik
  • Karen Noronha

Last Updated: 03.55 AM, Nov 10, 2022

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A story not so unusual, but always hyped by media and fans - the relationship of Sania Mirza and Shoaib Malik - a tennis star from India and cricketer for Pakistan.

Love across borders, that's what many believed it to be when the news broke out about the two being together. Be it their anniversary, their accomplishments, or anything related to either of them or their countries, the two sports professionals were always dragged into the headlines.

From celebrations and criticisms, to even controversies, Mirza and Malik had stood against everyone's expectations and got hitched in 2010 and later expanded their family with their son, Izhaan Mirza-Malik, in 2018.

So let's have a look at how their love bloomed to know the stories of them being divorced doing the rounds on social media.

When they met: Sania Mirza was 23 when she met 28-year-old Shoaib Malik in Hobart, Australia in 2010. and their friendship grew to post their meeting. In her autobiography Ace Against Odds Sania Mirza and written about their first meeting saying that the two met at a time when they both were going through a tough phase professionally.

Their star-studded wedding: Sania and Shoaib tied the knot on April 12, 2010. The two got married in a traditional wedding ceremony at The Taj Hotel in Hyderabad, India, and later extended their wedding celebrations in Sialkot, Pakistan, according to Pakistani wedding customs. This was followed by a reception in Lahore.

Residing in Dubai: Being marred by a series of controversies, many began questioning the two on topics like their support for their national teams during the cricket matches to even wanting to know where the two would be staying, in India or Pakistan. However, the couple created a life of their own in Dubai, a common meeting point for them when they were not away on tours.

First child: It was on April 23, 2018, that Mirza and Malik announced that they were pregnant. On October 30, Mirza gave birth to a baby boy and Malik expressed his happiness on social media. He wrote, "I am excited to announce that it's a baby boy, and my girl is doing great and staying strong as usual. Thank you for your wishes and Duas, we are humbled. #BabyMirzaMalik". They baby boy was named Izhaan Mirza-Malik.

The Covid-19 pandemic situation: In 2020, when the pandemic struck the world, the couple got stranded in their respective nations. In an interview from her Hyderabad home, Mirza had spoken about being away from her spouse and said it was difficult for her son to be away from his father. "It has not been easy for me to stay away from Shoaib and, especially, for Izhaan to stay away from his father. I am looking forward to being back as a family again in one place," she had said.

Latest photos together: Mirza and Malik recently celebrated their son's birthday on October 30. Malik had taken to social media to share some photos from the celebration. "As you were born, we became more humble and life meant more special to us. While we may not be together and meet every day, your Baba is always thinking about you and your smile every second. May Allah give you everything you ask for, Izhaan. Baba & Mama love you," he wrote.

Divorce rumors: According to news reports by Inside Sport, the couple's close friend, who was also part of Shoaib Malik's management team in Pakistan, confirmed their split. He revealed, "Yes, they are officially divorced now. I can't disclose more than that but can confirm that they have separated." It is rumored that the couple is living separately but co-parenting their baby boy. Talking about their separation, while the actual reason remains unknown, the gossip mill has it that Shoaib Malik cheated on his wife.

Sania Mirza's cryptic post amid rumors: Adding fuel to the speculations, Mirza took to her Instagram stories and shared a cryptic post. She wrote, "Where do broken hearts go. To find Allah".

This is not the first cryptic post shared by Sania Mirza. She had earlier shared a picture with her son and captioned it saying, "The moments that get me through the hardest days.''

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