When news that tennis sensation Sania Mirza is all set to marry Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik broke on Monday, it took the nation by surprise. Though Sania's much-publicised engagement to childhood friend Mohammed Sohrab Mirza was called off in March, her relationship with Malik was kept under the wraps.
As the media went abuzz with reports of Sania and Shoaib's engagement, which were later denied by Sania's family, Farisa Siddiqui, the mother of Ayesha Siddiqui, the Hyderabadi girl who the cricketer was allegedly married to in 2002 was shocked.
"This is breaking news for me. I can't believe what TV channels are airing. I will speak to Sania's mother and get a confirmation about the marriage. I am shocked," said Farisa from her Banjara Hills residence.
When asked about Ayesha's reaction to Shoaib tying the knot, Farisa said, "My daughter and husband are not at home and will return later today. There is too much happening for me to comprehend."
The family had pressed the player to give a formal divorce in February 2008, after Shoaib claimed that there was no 'nikah' between Ayesha and him.
According to Ayesha's mother, she attended Sania's engagement last July and was invited by Sohrab's family, "I'm not associated with the Mirzas (Sania's family) in anyway." Farisa was not just upset, but also angry about the Sania-Shoaib alliance. "I can't believe this girl (Sania). She has seen what happened to my daughter, it was all over the news. Despite this she got involved with this man (Shoaib). It's sad that she's getting married to him; it's strange," she said, adding that she would have a word with Sohrab's family to find out why the engagement with Sania was called off.
Shoaib Malik on Twitter
Thanks for all your support. And the news of me marrying to Sania is true. Inshallah will get married in April.
What went wrong with Ayesha...
Shoaib Malik allegedly got married to Ayesha Siddiqui through a telephone 'nikah' on June 3, 2002. But in a statement in Karachi on January 21, 2008 Shoaib claimed that no nikah took place. The cricketer said his marriage plans with the Hyderabadi girl ended because both families could not reach an understanding on certain issues. "Yes I had a long relationship with her and we planned to get married. But no nikah ever took place and in the end our families could not reach an understanding on various things," Malik had said. Ayesha's father M A Siddiqui had then said that the family would move the court if his daughter did not get divorce. Pakistani players were even feted to a grand reception by the Siddiqui family in Hyderabad when the team toured India in 2005.