Durban: Proteas bowler Keshav Maharaj took his biggest wicket to date after finally marrying his long-time sweetheart, Lerisha Munsamy on Saturday.
It was third time lucky for the pair after their wedding was called off twice before; first because South Africa went into lockdown as a result of Covid-19 and then again when both of their grandmothers passed away.
POST caught up with the pair as they were packing for their honeymoon to Paris, Mykonos, Santorini and then their final destination, Dubai, where they would celebrate Lerisha’s birthday at the end of April.
“I still remember calling my dad and telling him that I met the girl of my dreams,” said Maharaj as he recalled the journey he and his new wife walked as a love match.
The two met through a mutual friend four years ago and were immediately taken with each other.
“I just couldn't spend enough time with her during the first week we met.”
On their first date, she kept him waiting for 45 minutes but when she finally arrived he said it was worth it.
“I'm a joker and she is goofy. She is just stunning. Not just inside but she is so selfless and such a family person which was important to me.”
Maharaj said Munsamy, a professional Kathak and Bharatanatyam dancer, convinced him to do a dance for his mom’s 50th birthday - even though he has five left feet.
“My parents knew that I wasn't just going to dance with some random person and that she had to be special."
The lovebirds finally solemnised their union in a five-day traditional north Indian Hindu wedding. However, Munsamy also held a traditional south Indian nelengu to honour her grandparents.
For the main day in Westville, the bride wore a fuschia and pink coloured outfit from the Indian Kalki collection, while Maharaj had an outfit tailored by a Durban designer.
Maharaj said the big day was an intimate affair of 200 people and apart from family, friends and his best mate Vernon Philander, many of the cricketers could not make it because they were away.
Although they had been living together for three years before the wedding he said it felt new and exciting.
“I think it's good to live with each other for a while before you get married to see if you are compatible."
When he met his wife she did not know anything about cricket. He found it refreshing because the last thing he wanted to do after a hard day on the pitch was talk about the sport, he said.
The spin bowler said that even though he would be off to India for a tournament in June, he was determined that they should start a family as soon as possible. He wanted to be with Munsamy throughout the pregnancy and when she gave birth.
Munsamy said even though they wanted to start a family immediately, there were still a few career goals that both of them wanted to achieve in the meantime.
Munsamy, a somatologist (beautician), has a business called Beauty on Haven in Yellowwood Park and Mount Edgecombe where they live. She said she wanted to expand her business and possibly venture into a home range.
Munsamy said after meeting Maharaj, her clients and friends had all become cricket converts and she now understood most of the game.
She said she was shy and was initially nervous to meet Maharaj but she took the plunge and went for the first date at the behest of her friend. Munsamy found him to be humble and thought they would become good friends but it soon blossomed into much more.
“He still opens doors for me four years later,” she said.
Not only that, but his sister is now her best friend and they gang up on him, said Maharaj.
Munsamy said he was a foodie and was given the task of setting the menu for the wedding, which was vegetarian and catered for by Indian Delights, while she took care of the decor.
“I’m extremely proud of him. I never thought I would date an international cricket player.”
And while he is often mobbed by fans, Munsamy said she did not have a problem with that. She said she was usually called on to be the photographer, while everyone posed with him.