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Exclusive: Sania-Shoaib tie the knot

Last updated on: April 12, 2010 20:29 IST

Image: Sania Mirza and Shoaib Malik
Photographs: TV 9

Sania Mirza and Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik finally got married on Monday.

The 23-year-old Indian ace and 28-year-old Shoaib were scheduled to wed on April 15, but the family advanced the date.

The Indian tennis ace was dressed in a red sari, the one her mother Nasima wore for her nikaah 25 years ago.

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

'We are thankful to all in both countries'

Image: Sania and Shoaib
Photographs: TV 9

The two families surprised everyone on Monday morning by announcing through a spokesperson that the marriage was advanced.

The mehandi ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday, the sangeet will take place on April 14 and reception on April 15.

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

The couple married at around 1315 IST, immediately after Zohar prayers by the head Qazi of Dar-ul-Qazzat.

"We kept it a simple affair. We are now relieved that marriage has finally taken place after so many controversies," Imran Zaffar, Shoaib's brother-in-law, said.

"We had to obtain the photocopy of Shoaib's passport from the Hyderabad Police for the nikaah ceremony as his passport is still in the possession of a court," he said.

Imran said it was a happy occasion given the ordeal both the families went through in the last few days.

"It is a very happy occasion for us. We are grateful and thankful to all those people in both countries who supported us and wished for this marriage to take place," he said.

Shoaib relieved

Image: Imran Mirza with his son-in-law
Photographs: TV 9

Shoaib agreed to Rs 61 lakh as meher amount to Sania at the time of the nikaah.

In the Muslim community, the wife is given a set financial sum at the time of the marriage, which is written down as a term of the nikaah or marriage contract.

This sum is known as Haq Mehr, and is intended to give the wife enough to survive on in the event of divorce or widowhood.

The build up to the marriage was controversial

Image: Sania and Shoaib
Photographs: Snaps India

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

The nikaah ceremony was held in the presence of 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 Siddiqui.

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

Shoaib initially denied the allegations

Image: In the company of friends
Photographs: Snaps India

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 seized by the police.

It was a happy ending after all

Image: One for the family
Photographs: Snaps India

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

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

Sania is currently ranked 89 in the WTA chart and 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.