Malik plays in Hyderabad despite marriage row

April 22nd, 2008 - 11:46 pm ICT by admin  

Hyderabad, April 22 (IANS) Unperturbed by the controversy surrounding his reported marriage with a girl from the city, Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik took to the field for the Delhi Daredevils team at an Indian Premier League (IPL) match here Tuesday. Despite facing threat of legal action from the girl’s family for denying the marriage, Malik played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in the girl’s home town.

However, there was no booing from the crowd.

Malik with teammate Mohammed Asif arrived here late Monday night to join Delhi Daredevils for the match against Deccan Chargers. Shahid Afridi also reached here to bolster the batting line-up of the hosts. The trio had missed the first matches of their team.

It was at this very ground that Malik had played a practice match against India ‘A’ during the Indo-Pakistan series in 2005. It was during that tour that Malik had revealed about his marriage with Ayesha, daughter of M.A. Siddiqui.

The Pakistani team had also attended a reception hosted by Siddiqui at his residence here.

Malik and Ayesha had met at a hotel in Sharjah in 2002 and married over the Internet the same year. The girl claimed that the Pakistani had also paid two secret visits to the city to meet her.

In January this year, however, Malik flatly denied that he ever married the girl. Her family insisted that he married her over the Internet and demanded divorce as per Islamic law.

Siddiqui’s family is unhappy over Malik playing in India, especially in their home town. The family reiterated its demand that Malik should be banned from playing in India for cheating an Indian girl.

On the other hand, by playing here Malik wanted to prove that he has nothing to hide.

“If I had anything to hide, I wouldn’t have ventured to play in Hyderabad,” he told the media in Karachi before leaving for Hyderabad.

Malik claimed that he has also sent two legal notices to Siddiqui’s family, asking it to withdraw their ‘false’ claim about marriage and to apologise.

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