Life is wedded bliss, second time around, for Shoaib Malik. It's a dream compared to the nightmare of his first marriage. Things could only get better if he regains his place in the national team, and if Pakistan win the Karp Group/PC Jeweller Hong Kong Sixes on Sunday. Malik married Indian tennis star Sania Mirza in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad in April and the celebrity couple, dubbed 'Shonia' by the media, have been in the limelight ever since. 'It is a dream come true. I always wanted to marry a person who understands a professional sportsperson's life,' says Malik. 'She understands me completely, whether I am on the field or off.' The wedding was high profile because it was the first marriage between two sports stars from India and Pakistan, countries who have fought three wars since their independence in 1947. And if that wasn't enough to titillate the gossip columns, there were revelations that all-rounder Malik had, in 2002, married another Indian woman - Ayesha Siddiqui - over the telephone. For years Malik refused to acknowledge a union with Ms Siddiqui, saying he had never met her in person, claiming he had been hoodwinked because she had sent him pictures of another woman. But he was forced to go through a divorce after his passport was confiscated in Hyderabad - where Mirza's family hail from - by Indian police who questioned him after his first wife lodged a complaint. It was a sticky wicket. Muslim clerics and leaders piled on the pressure, and a reluctant Malik, despite protestations of not being married, had to go through the annulment process just five days before his marriage to Mirza. It would make a great Bollywood script, but life is full of drama, controversy and passion whenever Pakistan cricket is involved. Remember Javed Miandad threatening Dennis Lillee with the bat after the pair collided on the field? Coach Bob Woolmer and the mystery surrounding his death in a hotel room in Jamaica, hours after Pakistan were knocked out of the 2007 World Cup by Ireland? Or, most recently, the spot-fixing controversy involving Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir? Malik was a member of the squad in England when the incident took place this summer but refuses to dwell on the issue. 'I think the Pakistan Cricket Board and the ICC are in a better position to tackle the problem,' says the 32-test veteran. The dead-bat approach is prudent for a man, who at 28, still has a lot to offer, and believes he can play a key role in resurrecting the fortunes of the national team, especially in the one-day and Twenty20 format. After the test series against Australia and England, Malik was dropped. That decision has been questioned by many, including coach Waqar Younis, who thinks Malik, a right-hand batsman who also bowls off-breaks, can still play a vital role, especially in next year's World Cup on the subcontinent. Waqar disagreed with ODI and Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi and chief selector Moshin Khan when they decided to drop Malik from the squad for the England series as well as the current one against South Africa in Abu Dhabi. In Pakistan's murky cricket world, things have apparently gone wrong between Malik and skipper Afridi. A far cry from the day when they were both out in the middle, wildly celebrating Twenty20 World Cup title-victory over Sri Lanka at Lords in 2009. 'That was the best moment of my life, winning the World Cup. It was fantastic being out there at the crease, and seeing Pakistan through to victory,' Malik said. He figured in a match-winning partnership of 76 with Afridi as Pakistan strolled to a comfortable eight-wicket victory. It was Pakistan's first triumph in a major tournament since Imran Khan led the country to the World Cup (50 overs) title in 1992. A former captain - from April 2007 to January 2009 - Malik said he still had dreams of playing at next year's World Cup, adding he had faith in Afridi. 'It is a dream of every cricketer to play for his country in the World Cup and I believe I am still good enough to represent Pakistan for many more years,' Malik said. 'I would be delighted to get the opportunity. In order to perform, it is very important to have the unstinting support of the captain.' With 192 ODIs under his belt, having scored 5,188 runs at an average of 34.35 and taken 134 wickets, Malik has plenty of experience. Most importantly, with the World Cup being played on the subcontinent wickets he prefers there is a good chance he will be recalled. A good performance this weekend, especially if Pakistan win the title they last held in 2002, will do him no harm. 'I am a positive person and I believe we have a good chance in every match we play,' Malik said. 'We have some very talented youngsters in our team and I hope they will seize this opportunity to showcase their abundant talent.' The focus will be on winning the top prize of US$55,000 (HK$426,000) - especially with Mirza not at his side. 'She is not in Hong Kong as she has an important tournament to play in Taiwan. She is preparing to represent India at the Asian Games in Guangzhou,' added Malik. Two countries, two sports, one happy life. That's Shonia.