Pakistan cricket captain’s ‘net marriage fraud’
By Robyn Powell and agencies
Last Updated: 2:32am GMT 08/02/2008
Pakistan’s cricket captain has accused the family of an Indian girl of trying to commit an internet marriage fraud with him.
Shoaib Malik is at loggerheads with the Siddiquis family in Hyderabad, after they claimed he exchanged vows with their daughter Ayesha in 2002 over the telephone and has now deserted her.
Malik told a news conference in Lahore he had fallen in love with a girl over the internet and on the phone.
“I was interested in marrying her after she told me she belonged to an Indian Muslim family in Hyderabad and sent me her pictures,” he said.
But Malik claims the girl in the photograph was not the daughter of the Siddiquis.
He said he realised in 2005 the Siddiqui’s daughter had duped him into believing she was the girl in the picture.
“The girl in the picture never came before us for years and we ended the relationship in 2005 after we came to know something was wrong. No marriage was ever solemnised. We are now planning to go to India and file a case for defamation against this family,” Mailk’s brother-in-law Imran said.
However, Mr Siddiqui alleges the Pakistani cricketer exchanged marriage vows with his daughter on June 3, 2002 and he has proof of the vows.
He has threatened to get justice and a divorce for his daughter, who he says has been unwell since Malik denied his relationship with her.
The issue hit the headlines in India and the girl’s father hosted a big reception for the Pakistan team at his house in Hyderabad when they toured in 2005 but she was said to be in United States then with her grandmother.
Malik said he just wanted to concentrate on his cricket career. “I will not speak on this issue any more. After they tried to dupe us we decided to keep quiet about it because of the girl whose photograph they showed me.
“But now they are trying to exploit my standing as an international cricketer,” he said.