Cricketer wed actress

This handout picture by Yash Raj Films shows Indian cricketer Virat Kohli and Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma performing their wedding ceremony in Buonconvento near Siena in Italy on Monday.
This handout picture by Yash Raj Films shows Indian cricketer Virat Kohli and Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma performing their wedding ceremony in Buonconvento near Siena in Italy on Monday. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MUMBAI • He is the "king" of Indian cricket. She is a glamorous Bollywood actress and former model.

Newlyweds Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma are celebrity royalty and India is cock-a-hoop over their marriage.

"Officially India's First Couple," screamed the front page of Mumbai tabloid Mid-Day on Tuesday - a day after the pair tied the knot at a private ceremony in Tuscany, Italy.

Kohli and Sharma, dubbed "Virushka" by the local media, have generated the same sort of excitement and coverage in India as Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle have in the West.

Both 29, Kohli is India's cricket captain and one of the world's highest-paid athletes, while Sharma is an award-winning Hindi film star whose credits include the hits Sultan (2016) and PK (2014).

Kohli and Sharma started dating in 2013 after they met during the filming of a shampoo advertisement, and made their first public appearance a year later during a football match.

Indian newspapers have been gripped by their four-year relationship - which included a reported break-up early last year - and rumours of their impending nuptials intensified recently when they appeared in a wedding commercial together.

Speculation then reached fever pitch when Kohli pulled out of India's limited-overs matches against Sri Lanka and Sharma ducked out of her busy acting schedule this month before being spotted at Mumbai's international airport with her family.

The couple will host a reception in New Delhi for relatives on Dec 21, followed by a celebration in Mumbai on Dec 26 to be attended by Bollywood stars and cricketers.

They will then honeymoon in South Africa before setting up home in Mumbai.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 13, 2017, with the headline 'Cricketer wed actress'. Print Edition | Subscribe