Sania ties knot with Shoaib

Written by ANI | Hyderabad | Updated: Apr 12 2010, 20:52pm hrs
Sania shoaibSania will wear a red saree while Shoaib will wear a black sherwani during the 'nikah'.
Indian tennis star Sania Mirza and Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik tied the knot on Monday, ending days of controversy and drama surrounding their high-profile wedding that took place three days ahead of original schedule.

The 23-year-old Sania and 28-year-old Shoaib originally planned to marry on April 15 but there was speculation that the date would be advanced after the tumultuous build-up.

"The nikah has now completed. Please pray for the couple," Sania's spokesperson Rucha Nayak told reporters here.

Decked in a red saree, which her mother Nasima wore in her nikah 25 years ago, Sania thus became the second wife of the Pakistani cricketer, who divorced his first wife Ayesha Siddiqui last week after much mud-slinging.

Shoaib, a former Pakistan captain, wore a black sherwani designed by Shantanu and Nikhil for the nikah ceremony held at hotel Taj Krishna.

The two families surprised everyone this morning by announcing through the spokesperson that marriage has been preponed.

The 'Mehandi' ceremony is now scheduled for tomorrow, 'Sangeet' on April 14 and the reception will be held on April 15 as scheduled, the spokesperson said.

All the papers were in place before the arrival of bride and the groom and the ceremony was over within five minutes and the 'Qutbah' was read by the head Qazi.

The couple married at around 1.15 pm immediately after Zohar prayers by head Qazi of Dar-ul-Qazzat.

Shoaib paid Rs 61 lakh as 'Meher' amount to Sania at the time of Nikah and also presented her a car.

According to family sources, the wedding was advanced due to the 'fatwas' being issued by various ulemas against Shoaib living in Sania's house before marriage which was termed as unislamic.

The Nikah ceremony was held in presence of very close relatives while lunch was hosted for about 500 guests, sources in Sania's family said.

The build up to their marriage was highly controversial due to Shoaib's 'first' marriage with another Hyderabad girl Ayesha.

Ayesha had alleged that Shoaib married her over phone before dumping her without a divorce due to her weight problems.

Shoaib initially denied the allegations and claimed that Ayesha duped him into a phone marriage by sending photographs of a different woman.

Ayesha went ahead and filed an FIR against Shoaib alleging fraud and criminal intimidation which led to the cricketer's passport being confiscated by the police.

The all-rounder agreed to divorce Ayesha after being pressurised by community leaders.

The FIRs were subsequently withdrawn but he is yet to get back his passport.

Sania is currently ranked 89 in the WTA chart and is out of action nursing a wrist injury.

Shoaib, on the other hand, is serving a one-year ban for indiscipline during Pakistan's tour of Australia earlier this year.