By Syed Khalid Mahmood
Pakistan’s former cricket captain Shoaib Malik finally tied the knot with Indian tennis star Sania Mirza married on April 12 in the latter’s hometown of Hyderabad, the capital of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
Both of them are now expected to be based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) amid reports that they would continue to represent their countries in their respective sports.
The marriage between two of the leading sports personalities has been covered widely by the media and even the reputed British newspapers like The Guardian, The Independent and the Evening Standard have reported the event in-depth.
There were huge controversies before the marriage and yet another one has rocked them right away.
It has been reported that Shoaib has paid Indian Rupees 6,100,000 as mehr which is the gift given by the groom to his bride at the time of marriage, a prerequisite for a Muslim marriage. The gift can be given in the form of cash or gold or other form of wealth and is aimed at giving a financial security to the wife in the case of divorce or death of the man.
According to the reports it’s not the huge sum of money that has been questioned but it’s actually the massive difference between the one he paid to his earlier wife has caused some concerns.
The fact has been brought to light that Shoaib had paid a meagre Rs 500 mehr to Ayesha Siddiqui, whom he divorced recently, while Sania Mirza got a grand price.
Shaoib was reported to have married Ayesha in 2002 over a telephonic nikah but later claimed that she was not the girl he fell in love with as the photographs sent to him online were that of another girl.
The prolific Pakistan all-rounder, however, finally confessed having married Ayesha and divorced her just a few days before his marriage. He is believed to have agreed to pay Indian Rupees 15,000 rupees as maintenance to Ayesha for a span of three months, which broke down to 5,000 rupees per month.
His marriage plans with Sania had been jeopardized when Ayesha, another Indian woman, had lodged a complaint, claiming that Shoaib married her in June 2002 and accused him of subjecting her to cruelty and harassment by denying that the wedding took place and by trying to marry another woman.
Ayesha’s family, however, withdrew the police complaint after some elders brokered a divorce between the pair and cleared the way for the wedding with Sania.
The much talked about marriage between Shoaib and Sania has taken place finally and their future life will be watched with interest as well.
It remains to be seen in particular how Sania would be able to extend her career as a tennis star. She has been acclaimed as the queen of Indian tennis for quite sometime. Will she manage to regain her fitness and continue representing India in future is a question in everyone’s mind?