April 6 (Bloomberg) — The marriage of Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik and Indian tennis star Sania Mirza scheduled for April 15 may be postponed, a friend of the Mirza family said.
Malik and Mirza’s wedding has run into a storm of controversy after Ayesha Siddiqui, who hails from Mirza’s hometown of Hyderabad, claimed to be Malik’s first wife. The Siddiqui family filed a police complaint, leading to Malik being questioned and his passport seized. Malik arrived in Hyderabad on April 3.
“Until the police case is closed the marriage will not take place,” family friend V. Chamundeswaranath said in a phone interview. “The Mirza family wants the controversy to be cleared before marrying their child.” Mirza’s father could not be reached immediately on his cell phone.
The row has dragged in the governments of India and Pakistan. Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pakistan’s foreign minister, asked the country’s High Commissioner to India to keep tabs on the police complaint against Malik, India’s Business Standard newspaper reported today.
“Shoaib Malik is a player of our team and we are proud of him,” Qureshi said.
In a televised press conference yesterday, Malik, with Mirza by his side, said he had come to India to get married and “now, clear my name.”
Malik said in an interview with the Times of India on April 4 that he first spoke with Ayesha, who said she was a fan, in 2001. As the telephonic relationship blossomed, Malik said he was sent a picture of Ayesha. His attempts to meet with the girl in the photo were unsuccessful and he hasn’t ever met her.
At Ayesha’s insistence, Malik says they wed over the telephone in 2002.
“In Muslim law, this arrangement doesn’t work no matter what paper may or may not be there simply because, when the proposal was made, the image in my head was the girl in the photographs, but the girl, who was accepting the proposal was someone else. That’s cheating,” Malik told the Times of India. “My mistake was my innocence.”
Malik, a former captain of Pakistan’s national cricket team, was banned from playing for one year last month following a probe into the squad’s performance during a tour to Australia. Mirza is ranked 90th in the tennis WTA rankings.
“It is very painful for us and the family to see ourselves on TV and hear false allegations being levied against Shoaib,” Mirza said in the press conference yesterday. “But we all know what the truth is and we will stand by him until he clears his name of this controversy.”
ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: Indian tennis star Sania Mirza is engaged to former Pakistan cricket captain Shoaib Malik and they might tie the knot next month, claimed a television channel.
Geo television reported on Monday that the two sporting superstars have got engaged and their marriage would take place in April.
Incidentally, Shoaib was earlier accused of marrying another Hyderabad girl, Ayesha Siddiqui, in 2002 over phone even though the cricketer said he was merely engaged to her.
Ayesha’s father had also threatened to sue Malik for jilting the girl and not giving her divorce.
According to the channel, Shoaib’s mother met Sania’s parents in India and accepted her as future daughter-in-law.
The ‘Walima’ or reception is expected to be held in Lahore on April 16 or 17, according to the channel, which quoted sources as saying that Sania and Shoaib fell in love some six-and-half months ago and it could be the reason for the breaking up of Sania’s engagement with childhood friend Sohrab Mirza.
“I desire to get married soon. You will soon get some good news but it depends on my family. I fully expect to get married this year,” Shoaib had said in a recent interaction with the media.
Asked if it would be an arranged marriage, he said, “No can say what will happen, but it will take place with the concurrence of my family.”
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