iconimg Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Kavita Awaasthi, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, December 21, 2012
Tennis star Sania Mirza and husband Shoaib Malik, a Pakistani cricketer, will be the 12th pair on dance reality show Nach Baliye. While this marks Sania’s debut on the reality show circuit, it is also the first time that a sportsperson will participate in Nach Baliye. But the pair will be seen only in a couple of episodes. 

“We are excited. We aren’t in the show as competitors, but as a guest couple. We are happy to interact with everyone and do our bit. We have rehearsed quite a lot in the last few days,” says Sania, adding that the channel doesn’t want her to disclose the duration of her stay on the show. “It will be for a few episodes.”

How good a dancer are you?
The last time I danced was for our wedding, with a choreographer who trained us. I am very bad (laughs). I like dancing but I am shy. Shoaib (Malik) is a better dancer. He loves it and when you love something, you automatically do it well. I believe you should explore different things in life, which is why I am on Nach Baliye. The rehearsals have been challenging. The lifts, especially, were tough.

Did you get offers from other reality shows?
Yes I have. But at the end of the day, one has to remember that our main focus is our game, everything depends on the schedule.
So why did you sign on Nach Baliye?
It sounded fun and challenging. It’s also one of the biggest dance reality shows on television today. We had some spare time and we got a chance to indulge in something different, so we took it up. In the next week, we will be back to playing cricket and tennis. We shot an episode yesterday and I will leave for Australia on December 27 for the Australian Open and will be back only after 3-4 weeks.

Do you see yourself doing television or films in the future?

Well, one must never say never. At this point, it’s no for sure, definitely not movies. But you never know what will happen in the future.

How are the plans for your tennis academy coming along?
The last couple of months have been extremely busy for me. The academy should start in February 2013, in Hyderabad. It’s my baby and I am very passionate about it. I am starting a resto lounge in Hyderabad.  

The Pakistani cricket team will be in India in December for a tournment. Which side will you be cheering for?
As always, India.