In another dramatic turn, the much-awaited wedding of tennis star Sania Mirza and Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik was performed at a five-star hotel around 1 p.m. as per Muslim customs on Monday, ahead of the earlier announced date of April 15.
The nikah was performed in the presence of a select gathering comprising only the family members of the newly-wed couple.
There was high drama as Sania left her posh Jubilee Hills residence accompanied by parents, Imran Mirza and Naseema Mirza, and sister Anam.
A battery of camerapersons, from both print and electronic media, followed the bride's vehicle till the venue, initially kept a secret for security reasons.
A close relative of the Mirza family described the 10-minute ceremony as a ‘very simple affair.' Sania's family members and Shoaib's close relatives, including his sisters and brothers-in-law, attended the function, he told The Hindu. Keen to end speculation and avoid criticism, the families decided to advance the nikah.
Sources said that the families steered clear of possible legal hurdles before going ahead with the ceremony by seeking necessary counsel.
Shoaib's passport was confiscated by the police after Hyderabadi woman Ayesha Siddiqui filed a complaint against the cricketer, claiming Shoaib had married her earlier.
Police have not released the passport yet though the case against him has been withdrawn.
The controversy over the cricketer's first marriage ended after Shoaib ‘divorced' Ayesha following the intervention of community elders.