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Sania Mirza Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Mumbai: Tennis star Sania Mirza said that the practice of blaming the wives whenever a player performs poorly "makes no sense." Speaking at the India Economic Summit on Thursday in Mumbai, Mirza hit out at those who see wives and women in general as a distraction.

Mirza cited the example of Bollywood star Anushka Sharma being blamed whenever her husband, talismanic Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, fails to score in an innings. "Anushka Sharma is blamed if Virat makes a zero, like what does that have anything to do with anything. It makes no sense," she said. "Many a times, including our cricket team and in many teams I have seen that wives or girlfriends are not allowed on tour because the boys will be distracted."

Virat Kolhi and his wife Anushka Sharma
Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli

"What does that mean? What is it that the women are doing that is going to distract the men so much?" Mirza asked.

Mirza has herself been at the receiving end of accusations of this manner being the wife of former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik. After Pakistan's heavy defeat to India, Mirza was one of many who bore the ire of fans.

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"See the thing is that comes from a deeper problem which says that a woman is a distraction she cannot be a strength," said the tennis star who holds three women's doubles titles and three more in mixed doubles.

"If we address the problem that a woman can be a strength or is a strength rather than a distraction or a weakness we might conquer these issues," she said.