Sania Mirza during a match in Dubai
© Getty Images

The Essentials

All in the family

Tennis star (and cricket spouse) Sania Mirza on waking up at night to watch Yuvraj smash six sixes

You grew up in Hyderabad, which has produced some famous cricketers. Are there any cricketers from the city you admired?
I grew up in a cricketing household. My dad's first cousin played first-class cricket and so I was quite inspired by that. We have had cricketers like VVS Laxman and Mohammad Azharuddin coming from Hyderabad and they have been great role models. Azhar bhai is a family friend of ours, so we knew him quite well.

Do any of the new cricket strokes remind you of tennis shots?
I always, of course, understood that in cricket you are supposed to play with a straight bat, but nowadays we see that Dhoni's helicopter shot is quite the rage. That's almost like a tennis shot. Even the horizontal shot that's played straight, over the umpire's head, resembles a tennis backhand.

When did you first watch Shoaib Malik play live at a ground?
It was an India-Pakistan match in Mohali, 2007, though I didn't know him that well. In fact, he was the captain then. It was an amazing match. India lost and Sachin was out on 99.

Wimbledon or Lord's for a day out?
I am a little biased and so I'm going to say Wimbledon, though I do love cricket. Even when I wasn't married to a cricketer, I still used to go to cricket matches. I think it's a great game and it's entertaining.

What's your favourite cricketing memory?
Yuvraj Singh hitting six sixes. He is a dear friend and it was amazing watching him do that. I was playing a tournament elsewhere at the time and I remember waking up in the middle of the night to watch the game on TV. I can't remember where I was.

As told to Kanishkaa Balachandran

 

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