Monday, November 4, 2013

Cricketers And Their Exes

A look back at some off-field partnerships that went sour

Aussie speedster Brett Lee married Elizabeth Kemp in 2006. They have a son named Preston Charles, born the same year. However, after two years of marriage, in August 2008, Lee confirmed his separation from Kemp. They divorced in 2009. As soon as the split was announced, rumours emerged that Lee suspected his wife of having an affair with a rugby player whom she knew previously in Brisbane. This was later disputed, with extended periods of loneliness due to Lee's off-season commitments keeping him away from Kemp and his young son Preston given as the reason for the marriage breakdown.


No cricketer has had quite the kind of risqué love life as that of Shane Warne. The sheikh of tweak was married to Simon Callahan in 1995 and the couple divorced in 2006. In between there were three children and numerous sex scandals. Warne was accused of sending lewd text messages to a woman while on tour in South Africa. However, the woman who made the claims was subsequently charged with extortion. In 2000, he lost his Australian vice-captaincy after sending erotic text messages to a British nurse and in 2005 was dogged with allegations of further extramarital affair during The Ashes. In 2006, a tabloid published pictures of Warne standing in his underwear with a pair of 25-year-old models, as well as explicit text messages from Warne. In 2007, Warne and Callahan attempted to reconcile but the pair parted ways yet again after Warne accidentally sent a text message meant for another woman to his ex-wife's phone. Since 2010, Warne has been with English model and actress Elizabeth Hurley to whom he is now engaged.

Former Pakistan cricket captain, express fast bowler, current politician and quintessential ladies man. Imran Khan is often described by all of the above. The playboy cricketer settled down in 1995 with Jemima Goldsmith, a young heiress and the daughter of Lady Annabel and Sir James Goldsmith. Jemima even converted to Islam and moved to Pakistan to be with Imran, where they had two sons together. They divorced in 2004. At the time Imran stated that his political career had made it difficult for Jemima to adjust in Pakistan. Jemima later went on to date British actor Hugh Grant before ending the relationship in 2007. Khan on the other hand has steered away from any committed relationship.

Graeme Smith was made South Africa's cricket captain at the tender age of 22. The move made him hot property and he went on to date a string of girls. The relationship that garnered the most media attention was when he was courting the famous South Afican model Minki van der Westhuizen. Minki and Smith's partnership didn't last long enough and the Skipper is now married to Irish pop singer Morgan Deane. Minki meanwhile wed a businessman by the name of Constant Visser but that too didn't work out. She is now married to Rugby Player Ernst Joubert.

Jacques Kallis isn't considered to be the best all-rounder just for his batting and bowling skills alone. The South African legend has managed to attract more than his share of women and most of them have happened to be famous models. Kallis has been going steady with Sports Illustrated model Shamone Jardim for the past few years but prior to that he dated beauty queens Marisa Eggli and Cindy Nell. His liaison with Nell garnered much media attention and he was even engaged to the former Miss South Africa and Miss Universe runner-up. The love fizzled out and Nell is now expecting her second child with husband Clive Roberts.

The match-fixing scandal and a subsequent ban from competitive cricket isn't the only thing that brought Azharuddin infamy. During his stint as India Captain, Azhar received flak from both the media and public when he divorced Naureen, his wife and the mother of his two sons, after falling in love with Sangeeta Bijlani. Bijlani, a model and small-time actress, was better known for being Salman Khan's ex. Her marriage to Azhar lasted 14 years before the couple separated in 2010. Azhar was then linked with badminton player Jwala Gutta and more recently Delhi-based American expat, Shannon Marie Talwar.

If Kallis has a penchant for beauty queens then Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya hasn't hid his fascination for air hostesses. The 1996 World Cup star has been married thrice and all his wives have been flight attendants for Sri Lankan Airlines. Talk about having a type! Jayasuriya's marriage to first wife Sumudu Karunanayake lasted only 6 months. He then had a long-lasting union with Sandra De Silva with whom he has 3 children. In November 2012 he married Maleeka Sirisenage who has also forayed into acting. Let's hope that the Matara Mauler is third time lucky.

The 2011 World Cup Player of the Tournament and cancer survivor hasn't always been lucky in love. Yuvraj dated model and actress Kim Sharma for four years and they even came close to walking down the aisle together. The match wasn't to be and the couple parted ways. Kim went on to marry a Kenyan businessman of Indian origin. Yuvraj on the other hand has been paired with names like Deepika Padukone, who travelled to Sydney to cheer him on in a game and model Aanchal Kumar.

Zaheer Khan's relationship with dancer-actress Isha Sharvani was an on-again off-again affair for as many as eight years. The couple were constantly rumoured to have set a wedding date but finally called it quits for good in 2012. Distance was cited as the reason for the split. Isha had said at the time - "I don't want to talk about that... it is way too personal and something that should remain between two people. It is not right to wash dirty linen in public. We respect each other."

The cricket world's most famous split of recent years has to be that of Michael Clarke and Lara Bingle. Clarke was engaged to the Australian model and the high profile couple were almost always in the public eye . The pair broke up following the release of nude photo of Bingle during the Australian tour of New Zealand in March 2010. Clarke, then vice-captain, left the tour midway to return to Sydney and sort out 'personal issues'. Bingle gave a paid interview to a magazine and that was apparently the tipping point for the young Aussie. He ended his engagement and Bingle moved out of their plush Bondi beach home. In the process Clarke managed to resurrect his career and win back favour with Australian cricket administration. He was later appointed captain of Australia and has since married model and TV presenter Kyly Boldy.


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