Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik must be wishing for all this to get over so that he could jet off to somewhere more peaceful with his shortly-to-be wife Sania Mirza.
But his troubles are not going away in a hurry. The family of Ayesha Siddiqui, who claims to be Malik’s wife, went to the police to file a case of cheating against the cricketer.
<b1>The city police said they booked a case under Sections 506 (criminal intimidation), 420 (cheating) and 498 (A) (dowry harassment). They will now be looking at the facts of the case.
The Siddiquis have also hired a lawyer in Pakistan to pursue the case there.
Malik is bothered by all this, and angry. And he broke his silence, speaking a to a clutch of reporters outside Sania Mirza’s house in a plush neighbourhood in Hyderabad on Sunday.
First the all-is-well announcement: the wedding with Mirza is definitely on, and will take place as announced earlier on April 14, and in Hyderabad as scheduled, not in Dubai, he said.
Malik also has another issue to clarify, and it was about Mirza’s future as a tennis player. “She (Sania) will play tennis till the time she wants to and my family will continue to support her.” “She will continue to play for India,” Malik said.
And now, over to the more pressing issue now: Ayesha Siddiqui. Siddiqui has claimed she is Malik’s first wife. The two married over phone in 2002, after a few years of courtship, also mostly over phone. She wants a public divorce from him now.
Malik confirmed marrying her over phone — phone nikah — but said it was not valid. It was invalid as her family had cheated him and ruled out divorce, he said in a statement distributed to reporters.
He said to this day he has not met the girl whose photographs were sent to him by Ayesha and her family. “Now they are asking for a divorce. To begin with there was no nikah because they pressurised me into it with the intention to cheat. In Islam, there can only be a divorce if the nikah is valid,” he said.
It’s a complicated story, from what Malik is saying. Malik got a call one day in 2001 when he was in Sharjah from a girl who said she was a fan, and introduced herself as Ayesha Siddiqui.
Soon the two were talking every day. And they decided to marry. Malik said he hadn’t met her till then. He was sent some pictures, which, he later figured, were of someone else. “I was wrongly made to believe that the pictures Ayesha had sent me were of the girl I was marrying. I feel terrible about the mess created by a family that has caused great grief to my own people and the family of my bride-to-be,” he said.
Shoaib also said he had met Ayesha a number of times but knew her as ‘Maha apa’, elder sister of Ayesha, and never met the girl in the photographs. He said it was only by accident that he got to know Maha apa and Ayesha were the same girl.
“We accidentally ran into the truth about who Ayesha was.” “It was the worst moment of my life. No one enjoys being made a fool of and that was exactly how I was made to look. It happened in August 2005. My brother-in-law got a photograph of a teacher in Saudi Arabia who was telling people that she was married to me. His nephews were studying in that school.”