KARACHI (AFP) – Famed Pakistan cricketer Wasim Akram on Wednesday announced that he had married his Australian girlfriend, Shaniera Thompson, saying he has started a new life on a happy note.
"I married Shaniera in Lahore last week in a simple ceremony and this is the start of a new life for me, my wife and for my kids," former pace bowler Wasim told AFP.
The 47-year-old's first wife Huma died in 2009 after multiple organ failure.
Wasim proposed to the 30-year-old former public relations consultant on bended knee last month and they married on August 12.
Thompson came to Karachi earlier this month before going to Lahore to see Wasim's ailing father. There the marriage was solemnised in the presence of immediate family and a few close friends.
Wasim said Thompson had converted to Islam and is learning Urdu.
"She has embraced Islam and is learning our language. She has been close to my sons and they form a very good bond," said Wasim of his two sons from his first marriage.
He said his new wife was eager to settle quickly in Pakistan.
"I sincerely hope the people of Pakistan and our friends and supporters across the globe will give us their blessing and support," he said.
Wasim played 104 Tests and 356 one-day internationals for Pakistan in a career lasting from 1984 to 2003.
He was regarded as one of the best left-arm fast bowlers to have played the game and remains a major celebrity in Pakistan.
Wasim was player of the tournament in the country's only triumph in the World Cup, in Australia in 1992. He captained Pakistan to a runners-up finish in the 1999 World Cup in England.