Pakistan cricket legend Imran Khan and wife file for divorce

ISLAMABAD (AP) Pakistan cricket legend-turned-politician Imran Khan and his second wife have decided to part ways and are filing for divorce, the couple said Friday.

Both announced the split on Twitter. In his post, Imran Khan praised his wife, former television anchor Reham Khan.

''I have the greatest respect for Reham's moral character and her passion to work for and help the underprivileged,'' he said. ''This is a painful time for me and Reham and our families. I would request everyone to respect our privacy.''

Local media reported that Imran Khan had agreed to pay a substantial financial settlement to Reham Khan for dissolving the nine-month marriage. He rejected the reports as ''absolutely false and shameful.''

Imran Khan had lived alone for 11 years following his divorce from his first wife, Briton Jemima Goldsmith.

Imran Khan and Goldsmith were married for nine years and split in 2004. He has two sons from that relationship who live with their mother in the UK.

Imran Khan's party, Pakistan Tahrik-e-Insaf, is the strongest opponent of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government. The news of his divorce comes a day before local government elections Pakistan's most populous province, Punjab, and southern Sindh province. Analysts said it may negatively affect PTI's chances at the polls.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.