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Sania Mirza’s loyalty to India has always been a matter of debate ever since she tied the knot with Pakistan batsman Shoaib Malik. The tennis star has time and again reiterated her love for India but never managed to evade the ever-increasing questions on her loyalty to her native country.
And recently, the multiple Grand Slam winner was all over the news after she was spotted cheering Pakistan in the just-concluded Champions Trophy in England. She could not attend the Indo-Pak game on June 4 due to her tennis commitments but made sure to attend Pakistan’s semifinal clash against England at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff. She was targetted on the social media for cheering Pakistan and in fact, former India skipper Sourav Ganguly had even called her a Pakistan supporter. And while there is no denying that Ganguly had said that in a good sense, it was blown out of proportion by many.
Here is a clip when Ganguly called the 30-year old a Pakistan supporter:
But interestingly, she missed India’s semifinal clash which took place just a day after Pakistan’s match, giving the fans another reason to point fingers towards her. But Sania has once pledged her allegiance to India to shut down the critics and haters.
While admitting that she supports her husband, she told ESPN:
“I support my husband, of course, but I support India too. It’s not as dramatic as people want to make it sound. They think we are at each other with knives every time India plays Pakistan. It’s not like that.”
She further said that a game should be treated just like a game and nothing else.
“We have to remember, it’s sport. That’s the message every athlete wants to put across. It doesn’t matter. When India lost to Pakistan, they lost a game of cricket, that’s the bottom line. It’s not war or a matter of life and death,” she said.