- 1 / 2
In 1994, Mohammad Azharuddin was rumored to be having an extra marital affair with Sangeeta Bijlani. He was a shy, soft-spoken Hyderabadi boy who was known to be as quiet off the field as he was incredible on the field, while she was a prominent and popular actress and model. When they met in the early 1990’s, Sangeeta Bijlani herself didn’t think that she would fall for him. In an interview, she revealed, "Actually, he surprised me. I had heard about his economy of words, so to say. The impression he gave me was quite different. He talks. And he talked the first time he met me too." Sangeeta further recalled, "We met at a commercial shoot initially, then we kept bumping into each other at public functions, on flights."
THE AFFAIR BETWEEN THE duo got its fair share of press and was splashed all over the tabloids. It quickly became clear that this was not the typical passing affair that is commonplace between actresses and cricketers. Sangeeta allegedly crossed all the lines of decency and accompanied the Indian team captain, Azharuddin to each and every match. Sources say the Indian players were miffed with her attitude and with the fact that Azhar was so smitten by her that he concentrated more on her than the game leading the Indian team to lose matches on many occasions.
Things seemed serious between Sangeeta and Azhar and the smitten cricketer decided to divorce his wife of eight years, Naureen, to marry Bijli. Sangeeta was suddenly perceived as the home wrecker who had ripped apart a family and Azhar paid a hefty sum to be able to wed his ladylove. The chaotic divorce cost him his two bungalows in Hyderabad's Banjara Hills, two BMW cars and lakhs of rupees. People were shocked that Azhar had taken as drastic a step as he did and there were even rumours that Sangeeta was pregnant. Despite all the obstacles they faced, Sangeeta and Azhar wed in 1996.
IN LATER INTERVIEWS Azhar confessed that “I fell in love with Sangeeta when I saw her for the first time. I decided I would marry her.” Sources close to the yesteryear’s actress had said that “Sangeeta will never agree to the second wife status. Even during Salman Khan days, she always wanted marriage.” Ironically just before Sangeeta got involved with Azharuddin, she had experienced heartache similar to that of Azhar’s first wife, Naureen. It was reported that she left Salman when she caught him cheating on her with Somy Ali. In a recent interview Salman confessed to having loved Sangeeta Bijlani, wholeheartedly. He even confessed that their wedding invitations had been printed when Sangeeta caught him cheating on her. Naureen, who was married to the cricketing legend at the tender age of 16 in an arranged marriage, was allegedly not even informed by her cricketer husband that he wanted a separation and only found out through the media that Azhar was being unfaithful. Never one to appear at any of his matches, Naureen stayed far away from the media and later admitted, “I wish I had been a little more stubborn and gone out on tours with my husband. I wish I had not been the docile wife he wanted me to be. On being divorced so brutally, Nausheen’s brother Nausheed, commented, “He signed the paper and then Naureen, who came in from the other room crying, signed them. If it had to end, it had to end. I only wish it had ended more gracefully”
If rumours are to be believed, Sangeeta and Azhar ‘s marriage is all but over despite Sangeeta being seen campaigning with Azhar at the 2014 elections. Apparently, Sangeeta wanted a divorce because of Azhar alleged link up with Jwala Gutta, a badminton player.
Sangeeta: According to recent reports, Sangeeta is trying to make a comeback in Bollywood films and Salman has been helping her get back on the track. It has been reported that producers and TV channels trying to reach Sangeeta Bijlani for any professional assignment have been asked to contact Salman's manager. She has reportedly bagged a leading role in Onir’s film, Shap.
Azharuddin: Azharuddin on the other hand, is an active Congress MP and is rumored to be in a relationship with Jwala Gutta, a badminton player. He contested in the 2014 election from Tonk-Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan. He was caught in a match fixing scandal in 2000. A lifelong ban was imposed on Azhar following his acquittal in fixing three ODI matches. Claimed as unsustainable by the High Court, on 8 November 2012, the Andhra Pradesh High Court lifted the life ban on Azharuddin, implicated in the match-fixing scandal of 2000. Statistically he is one of India's most successful captains, winning 103 ODIs