Sania Mirza (left) and Veena Malik
Sania Mirza (left) and Veena Malik. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

  • Video of Sania Mirza, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz and Imam-ul Haq at shisha bar goes viral 
  • Pakistani actress Veena Malik criticised Mirza
  • Pakistan Cricket Board comments

Dubai: Indian tennis player and six-time Grand Slam title winner Sania Mirza faced heavy criticism on social media yesterday. She was trolled after a video of her supposedly visiting a shisha bar with her husband, Pakistani cricket player Shoaib Malik and her baby went viral. The video was purportedly shot the night before the June 16 match between India and Pakistan.

The video shows a few other Pakistan cricketers like Wahab Riaz and Imam-ul Haq also at the table.

Mirza replied to the video that seemed to be posted on Twitter by the person who took it and called it a breach of her privacy, and claimed that the group was merely out for dinner.

Pakistani actress Veena Malik replied to Mirza’s response to the clip and criticised the tennis player for taking her child to a “hazardous” environment.

Using her Twitter account Veena, @iVeenaKhan, posted: “Sania, I am actually so worried for the kid. You guys took him to a shisha place isn’t it hazardous? Also as far as I know Archie’s is all about junk food which isn’t good for athletes/boys. You must know well as you are mother and athlete yourself?”

Mirza, @MirzaSania, was quick to respond: “Veena, I have not taken my kid to a shisha place. Not that it’s any of your or the rest of the world’s business because I think I care about my son a lot more than anyone else does. Secondly, I am not [the] Pakistan cricket team’s dietician nor am I their mother or principal or teacher…”

Continuing in another tweet, she wrote: “… to know when they sleep, wake up and eat. Thank you for your concern though means a lot.”

However, screenshots of a deleted version of the tweet read: “… to know when they sleep, wake up and eat. Thirdly and very importantly, if I were you I would be more worried about your kids seeing the ‘not so decent’ magazine cover you have done. You know it could be hazardous right? But thank you so much for being worried. Truly means a lot.”

Veena also tweeted: “Great to hear that you didn’t take your kid there. Oh, did I mention you are a dietician or mother of the Pakistan team? I said you are an athlete and you must know how much fitness is important for athletes. Also, aren’t you a wife of a cricketer? You should take care of his wellbeing. Isn’t it?”

After Mirza deleted the tweet that mentioned Veena’s magazine cover shoot, Veena posted: “Have some guts and don’t delete your tweets. Fortunately, the technology has progressed so much that people can’t deny their acts. Oh the magazine’s cover you mentioned had morphed images. Also I can bring up all the controversies you have ever had but I would rather not divert the discussion.”

The discussion ended with Mirza blocking the actress. After which, Veena, along with a screenshot of her blocked account, tweeted: “Okay so this happened. First, she tweeted then deleted that tweet right away and blocked me. I mentioned my concerns in a very civilised, calm and composed manner. It could have been a healthy debate.”

Soon after the heated exchange between the two, ‘Sania’ and ‘Veena’ trended on Twitter across Pakistan.

Shoaib Malik speaks out

Shoaib took the opportunity to defend his wife.

He, @realshoaibmalik, requested to keep players’ families out of the discussion when referring to sporting events: “On behalf of all athletes I would like to request media and people to maintain respect levels in regards to our families, who should not be dragged into petty discussions at will. It’s not a nice thing to do.”

In another tweet, Shoaib had defended himself and others who were seen in the video and claimed that the clip was not from the night before the match.

PCB comments

In the same post, he also attached a report mentioning that a spokesperson from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had said that the cricketers did not violate their curfew.

Shoaib’s tweet read: “When will Pakistan media be accountable for their credibility by our courts?! Having served my country for +20 years in international cricket, it’s sad that I have to clarify things related to my personal life. The videos are from June 13 and not 15th…”

According to a report published by the Pakistan daily, Dawn News, the spokesperson was quoted as saying: “The cricketers did not violate their curfew. The videos and photographs that went viral [on social media] are from two days before the match.”