Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik has reportedly demanded a whopping Rs 3.5 crore for the rights to cover his reception and ‘walima’ ceremony in his hometown Sialkot after his wedding to Indian tennis star Sania Mirza.
Shoaib asked his private security guards to keep the media away from both ceremonies as none of the TV news channels had agreed to cough up the huge amount demanded by the cricketer and any deal was not yet struck, ‘Dunya News’ channel reported.
The channel claimed it had obtained an invitation card for the ‘walima’ to be hosted by Shoaib in Lahore’s Pearl Continental Hotel on April 27 by paying Rs 10,000 (about $125) to a relative of the cricketer.
On the other hand, the administration of Pearl Continental Hotel has asked journalists to leave the premises.
Dozens of reporters, especially those from TV news channels, have been thronging the hotel since the couple arrived there two days ago.
"The hotel administration took the step on behalf of Shoaib," journalist Hina Farooq claimed.
Shaoib has already requested the government of Punjab province to provide the couple and his guests from India "foolproof" security.
Shoaib and his brother-in-law Imran Zafar have criticised the media after Sania and her mother Nasima Mirza were jostled and pushed by an unruly crowd after reaching the Pearl Continental Hotel.
The incident brought tears to Sania’s eyes.
"Please spare us," was the request from both Shoaib and Zafar.
"For God’s sake, leave us alone. You are trying to fix cameras in our rooms," an angry Zafar shouted at the media.
Before leaving for Sialkot, Shoaib, Sania and her parents and relatives visited the shrine of Hazrat Ali Hajvary Data Ganj Bakhsh and offered prayers.
Meanwhile, Sialkot district police chief Waqar Ahmed Chohan said an official order on serving only one dish at wedding receptions will be enforced in letter and spirit.
"We will not allow even Shaoib to violate the ban," he said.
The Punjab government introduced the one-dish rule for weddings and receptions last year as part of a series of austerity measures.(PTI)