It seems money is proving to be a stumbling block in the Sania-Shoaib marriage?
And Shoaib Malik's alleged first wife Ayesha Siddiqui seems determined to spoil Malik's marriage party. Ayesha's family has filed an FIR, alleging Shoaib Malik had offered the Siddiqui family Rs 4.44 crore ($1 million) to not pose problems for his marriage with tennis star Sania Mirza. (Read & watch: Is Shoaib-Sania marriage in trouble?
However, Shoaib who is in Hyderabad, denied the charges that he cheated on the Siddiquis, and Sania was by his side.
Ayesha's father, Imran Siddiqui, has allged that Shoaib was threatening his daughter to come clean before the media that she was not married to him. He claimed Shoaib had married his daughter but was now denying it in order to marry Sania Mirza.
But there are more to it than meets the eye in this controversy. Sources say that Shoaib is scared of the hefty amount Ayesha could claim as mehr (alimony) and is, therefore, understood to have chosen to deny the marriage.
"We are exploring this aspect besides investigating the case from other possible angles," said Narasimha Rao, ACP, Hyderabad police, who is heading the investigating team. "We are probing the establishment of the marriage, that can pave way for further investigation," he added.
"Can the Rs 4 crore compensate for the agony suffered by the girl?" asked Shams Babar, a relative of the Siddiquis. "Given the wealth Shoaib has amassed, the amount is a pittance. We won't allow him to get away so easily."
Babar clarified that money was not important to the Siddiquis.
However, behind the open media cat-fight, source close to the family says there hectic parleys between the two families to settle the dispute over 'mehr'.
"We had several rounds of negotiations yesterday and they will continue today," said one of the negotiators, who is the son of an MP from Andhra Pradesh. "Many issues, including alimony, came up for discussion."
Former Andhra cricket captain Chamundeswarinath, who was reported to be leading the negotiations, denied the same. "I am not involved. Please don't ask me anything," said Chamundeswarinath, who had mediated between former India cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin and his former wife, Naureen, when they divorced in 2000.