‘Divorce deal’ frees cricketer, tennis star to wed

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    saania and shoaib

    HYDERABAD, India (AFP) – The celebrity wedding between Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik and Indian tennis star Sania Mirza was back on track Wednesday after a deal was struck in which he “divorced” another girl.

    Preparations for the high-profile couple’s upcoming nuptials had been marred by claims by Indian woman Ayesha Siddiqui that she and Malik were married in 2002 — sparking a scandal that captivated millions across south Asia.

    “Divorce papers have been signed,” Farisa Siddiqui, Ayesha’s mother, told a news conference in Hyderabad. “The settlement is done.”

    The deal apparently ends a complex and often contradictory tale during which Malik had consistently denied ever being married to Siddiqui.

    Malik, 28, confessed to the marriage after Siddiqui handed her wedding night bedclothes to police for forensic testing to prove their marriage had been consummated.

    She claimed the cricketer had married her in a telephone ceremony in 2002 following a long-distance courtship, but had later abandoned her after his cricket team-mates teased him because she was overweight.
    Miss Mirza and Mr Malik will now marry in Hyderabad next week .

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