Pakistan cricketer Malik weds India’s tennis star Mirza

HYDERABAD, April 12, 2010 (AFP) – Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik and Indian tennis star Sania Mirza married Monday after a troubled engagement in a union that bridges the two nations’ bitter sporting and political divide. The wedding was the final chapter in a complex and often contradictory saga during which Malik consistently denied claims by an Indian woman, Ayesha Siddiqui, that she had married the cricketer in 2002.

The ceremony took place in the presence of family and friends at a hotel in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, Mirza’s spokeswoman Rucha Naik said.

“The (wedding) has just been completed. Please pray for the couple,” Naik told reporters.

The marriage was originally scheduled for April 15. The Press Trust of India cited family sources as saying it had been brought forward after Muslim clerics in Hyderabad criticised the fact that Malik was living in his future bride’s house before the wedding.

Last week, Farisa Siddiqui, Ayesha’s mother, announced that a settlement had been reached and “divorce papers signed,” allowing Malik’s marriage with Mirza to go ahead.

Ayesha had initially lodged a complaint with police in Hyderabad, prompting officers to quiz Malik over the saga and con