This handout picture released by Yash Raj Films shows Indian cricketer Virat Kohli and Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma at their wedding ceremony in Buoncovento near Siena on Dec 11, 2017.PHOTO: AFP
MUMBAI (AFP) - India cricket captain Virat Kohli and Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma got married in Italy on Monday (Dec 11), they said in a statement, ending weeks of frenzied speculation that they were getting hitched.
"Today we have promised each other to be bound in love forever. We are truly blessed to share the news with you," the celebrity couple said, adding that it had been a "beautiful day".
A statement sent to journalists said the wedding had been attended by close family and a few friends as "they wished their wedding to be a very private affair".
The ceremony was performed according to Hindu rituals, it added.
Kohli and Sharma, both 29, posted different photos of themselves together and dressed in colourful Indian wedding garb on their Twitter feeds late on Monday.
The pastel pink outfits were created by acclaimed Indian fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee.
The statement added that 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.
Afterwards, Sharma will accompany Kohli to South Africa where he will prepare for India's forthcoming tour there early next year.
Today we have promised each other to be bound in love for ever. We are truly blessed to share the news with you.This beautiful day will be made more special with the love and support of our family of fans & well wishers. Thank you for being such an important part of our journey. pic.twitter.com/aobTUwMNAK
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) December 11, 2017
The statement added that after spending New Year's Eve together Sharma will return to Mumbai in the first week of January to resume her acting commitments.
They will live in the Worli district of Mumbai, the home of India's Hindi film industry, it said.
Last year, Kohli reportedly bought a luxury, sea-view apartment in the area for 340 million rupees (S$7.1 million).
The pair, dubbed "Virushka" by the Indian media, are one of the high-profile couples in star-obsessed India.
Kohli is among the world's highest-paid athletes and a huge name in the cricket-mad nation, and Sharma is one of the top actresses in the country's multi-billion-dollar film industry.
They 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 in early 2016, and rumours of their impending nuptials started swirling recently.
They were triggered when Kohli pulled out of India's limited-overs matches against Sri Lanka and Sharma also ducked out of her busy acting schedule in December.
Then last week, Sharma and her family were seen at Mumbai's international airport, apparently heading for a European destination.
Kohli has smashed numerous records throughout his illustrious career and recently became the first batsman to score six double Test centuries as a captain.
Sharma's film credits include hit movies Sultan and PK. She won a national Filmfare Award for her role in Jab Tak Hai Jaan (As Long As I Live).
Indian TV channels billed their nuptials as the "wedding of the year".
Stars from the world of Bollywood and cricket were quick to congratulate the new husband and wife.
"Many congratulations to @AnushkaSharma and @imVkohli on their wedding. God bless and welcome to the club!" tweeted actor Abhishek Bachchan, who is married to actress and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai.
"Congratulations and best wishes to the just married @imVkohli and @AnushkaSharma. You both look wonderful together. #Virushka," Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar wrote on Twitter.
This article was first published in The Straits Times.