Squash ace Dipika Pallikal has found a new doubles partner — India cricketer Dinesh Karthik. The couple who first met nearly a year ago while training with Shanker Basu in Chennai's Maverick Gym, were engaged in a ceremony at the ITC Grand Chola Hotel in that city on November 15.
The low-key ceremony was attended only by the two families and their close friends. There was a Christian and a traditional Hindu part to the ceremony, and Dipika changed from a Ritu Kumar creation to a red saree during it.
Karthik wore a cream kurta-pyjama and camelot blue Nehru jacket through both parts of the ceremony.
Soon after the engagement, Dipika, who is currently number 12 in the world, flew to Australia to train, while the 28-year-old wicketkeeper batsman travelled to Meerut to play in his side Tamil Nadu's Ranji Trophy match against Uttar Pradesh.
"I am very happy that it has happened," Karthik said. "We have been good friends ever since we met a year back. She is a sportswoman so she understands me very well. After knowing each other for some time we decided to go ahead with our relationship and got engaged."
The wedding is likely to be towards the end of 2015. A close friend of Dipika's said her squash career would not be impacted.
"She will continue to compete at the highest level even after the wedding. Squash has many examples of top 10 players like Laura Massaro and Natalie Grinham who continued playing just as they did before marriage. Dipika will join that list," the friend said.
Dipika is now about to leave for Hong Kong to play in the Cathay Pacific Open. Karthik is in Chennai for the Ranji game against Saurashtra. He has been married once before.