Shoaib Malik eyes lady luck after wedding
Pakistan's former captain Shoaib Malik has expressed hope that his highly publicised wedding to Indian tennis star Sania Mirza can turn around his flagging cricket fortunes. See Special | Sania-Shoaib: Wedding albumindia Updated: Apr 28, 2010 20:21 IST
Pakistan's former captain Shoaib Malik expressed hope on Wednesday that his highly publicised wedding to Indian tennis star Sania Mirza can turn around his flagging cricket fortunes.
The 28-year-old, who married Sania Mirza earlier this month, is serving a one-year ban imposed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for indiscipline while on tour in Australia and New Zealand.
He was also fined two million rupees (24,000 dollars). His appeal against the sanctions will be heard by a retired high court judge on Friday.
Malik said he was hoping that lady luck would smile on him. "When you marry, your luck changes and I am also wishing my luck changes and I am able to revive my career,"said Malik before leaving for India to continue his honeymoon.
Malik's 11-year career badly suffered in 2008 when he was removed as Pakistan captain after a 2-1 one-day series loss at home to Sri Lanka. Manager Yawar Saeed and coach Intikhab Alam labelled Malik a "loner" and questioned his ability to lead, prompting the PCB to replace him with Younus Khan. Malik was also branded a "disruptive influence" on the team during Pakistan's recent tour of New Zealand and Australia from November to February.
The PCB formed a committee to investigate the team's dismal performance after they lost all three Tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 match in Australia. The committee, which also took into account various off-field problems on the preceding tour of United Arab Emirates, indefinitely banned former captains Younus Khan and Mohammad Yousuf, and banned Malik and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan. Pakistan's Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal and Umar Akmal were also heavily fined.
Malik, who has played 29 Tests, 190 one-day internationals and 30 T20 matches, said he will soon settle down in Dubai, a move which he hopes will help revive his career sooner rather than later. "My lawyer will attend the hearing on Friday and I hope it helps me revive my career," said Malik. "Since Pakistan is playing its home series in the United Arab Emirates, it would be easier for me to stay in Dubai but for that I want to revive my career first. I hope people will support me like they did at my wedding."
His nuptials sparked a cross-border media frenzy and made headlines around the world because of the strained relations between South Asian nuclear rivals India and Pakistan.