Hyderabad, April 4 (IANS) Were former Indian captain Mohammed Azharuddin and his wife Sangita Bijlani witness to Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik and his 'first wife' Ayesha staying in a city hotel?
If one believes the family friends of Ayesha Siddiqui, who claims to be Shoaib's first wife, Azharuddin and Sangita were staying in the same hotel where the Pakistani cricketer and Ayesha were sharing a room after their 'marriage' in 2002.
The claims are significant as Shoaib, who is set to marry Indian tennis star Sania Mirza later this month, is refusing to accept Ayesha as his first wife. While admitting that he signed the 'nikahnama' or marriage document over phone in 2002, Shoaib said he presumed that the girl on the other side was the one whose photographs were sent to him.
The Pakistani cricketer has denied meeting Ayesha, the daughter of M.A. Siddiqui, a former official of Saudi Airlines.
However, Ayesha Sunday told some television channels that Shoaib met her several times during his visit to Hyderabad, they spent time together and that she has witnesses to prove this.
Ayesha also claimed that two employees of Taj Residency, where she shared a room with Shoaib, were ready to testify.
Siddiqui's family friends in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, said the couple, during their stay at the hotel, also met Azharuddin, now a Member of Parliament, and his wife Sangita.
While Shoaib claims he never met Ayesha, the latter insists that they met on several occasions since 2001 but the cricketer, who was not a big star then, lost interest in her due to her being overweight.
Ayesha's family has already released copies of the 'nikahnama' issued in Pakistan and signed by Shoaib. A video footage of a Man of the Match presentation ceremony after the India-Pakistan practice match in Hyderabad in 2005 is also being seen as proof. Shoaib had said at the ceremony that Hyderabad is the home town of his wife.
After the match, the Pakistani team was also feted with a dinner at the residence of Ayesha in Banjara Hills.