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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 February 2008, 11:12 GMT
Pakistan captain in 'love scam'
Shoaib Malik
Shoaib Malik became Pakistani captain after the 2007 World Cup
Pakistani cricket captain Shoaib Malik has threatened to sue an Indian family for alleging he married their daughter over the telephone five years ago.

He has accused the Muslim family from the city of Hyderabad of committing an internet marriage fraud against him.

The family says that the marriage took place in June 2002 after a two-month courtship with witnesses on both sides.

When news of the relationship became public in 2005, it was hailed as a love affair that crossed borders.

But now it has turned sour with both sides threatening legal action.

'Internet trick'

"I was interested in marrying her after she told me she belonged to an Indian Muslim family in Hyderabad and sent me her pictures," Mr Malik told a news conference in Lahore.

He said that although he had spoken to the woman, Ayesha Siddiqui, on the telephone and chatted to her on the internet, they never actually met.

Mr Malik said that he came to realise in 2005 that the girl in the photograph was not who she claimed to be and that the relationship ended in that year.

He said that the Siddiqui family in Hyderabad had tricked him on the internet into believing she was the girl in the picture.

"I can claim with authority that no nikkah [Muslim marriage ceremony] has ever been performed [by me] with a girl having a name of Ayesha," Mr Malik said.

"This is an accusation against me, and I will take legal action, both in India and in Pakistan."

'Dubai meeting'

However, The Times of India newspaper has quoted Mohammed Ahmed Siddiqui, the father of the woman, Ayesha, as saying Mr Malik should acknowledge the marriage took place in June 2002 - for which he has proof - and that he should divorce his daughter.

Mr Siddiqui argued that Islamic Sharia laws recognises the exchange of marriage vows over the telephone and has threatened legal action against Mr Malik.

He said that his daughter has been ill since Mr Malik denied his relationship with her.

In 2005, Ayesha told the BBC that the two had met for the first time in Dubai in 2000 where Shoaib had come as a member of a Pakistani team and she was there with her family shopping.

Ayesha recalled that they bumped into each other accidentally at a hotel where she had gone for a meal and had left behind her keys.

A young man came to return the key who she said turned out to be Shoaib.

Shoaib Malik became Pakistan's cricket captain last year after the team's surprise exit from the World Cup.



SEE ALSO
Cricket's cross-border love story
27 Mar 05 |  South Asia
Malik inspires Pakistan win
25 Jul 04 |  Cricket
Malik must rebuild bowling action
27 Dec 04 |  Pakistan
A tale of love and visas
24 Oct 03 |  South Asia



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