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Wednesday December 01, 2021

Watch: Shoaib Akhtar responds to his 'insult' on PTV Sports

Akhtar issues a video statement clarifying his position, saying he was ready to bury the hatchet to prevent further embarrassment

By Web Desk
October 27, 2021
Former Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar. — AFP/File
Former Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar. — AFP/File

Former Pakistani fast-bowler Shoaib Akhar — known for his blunt opinions — got into a heated argument with sports anchor Dr Nauman Niaz at PTV  Sports show “Game on Hai” on Tuesday night after Pakistan defeated New Zealand with five wickets.

 Akhtar walked out of the live show after the anchor, Dr  Niaz, told him to “leave the show” following an argument involving Haris Rauf.

Various clips started circulating on social media, after which Akhtar issued a video statement on Twitter clarifying his position on the matter, saying he was ready to bury the hatchet to prevent further embarrassment.

However, he said he did ask for an apology on air from Niaz, which the PTV anchor refused to give.

"Multiple clips are circulating on social media so I thought I should clarify," he captioned the video statement.

"An unpleasant incident took place on PTV where Nauman Niaz was being obnoxious and he asked me to leave for no rhyme and reason I don’t know why he said that," Akhtar said in his video message. 

The star-cricketer said that the PTV anchor abruptly insulted him on national television.

"In the break, I realised that legends are sitting on the set which included foreigners as well and what image will go out," he said, adding that he told him [Niaz] that we need to finish this because the clips will get viral and then there will be no solution.

"He also said that yes let’s finish this so that foreigners don’t feel bad and a wrong image doesn’t go," he said, adding   that when the show resumed he said it was a joke and he was pulling Niaz's leg but "I also asked him to apologise on air but he didn’t."

"When he didn’t say sorry I thought I had enough and I should leave," Shoaib Akhtar recalled.

Rawalpindi Express said that he tried his level best to repair the damage within the programme,"I was trying to end it but he didn’t end this and did not apologise."

"He insulted a national star on national television and I felt very bad because foreign stars were also sitting and what would have they thought.

"That’s why I thought I should resign and leave," he stated.

However, Akhtar termed the incident "very bad" and said this should not have happened.

Niaz's side of story

Reacting to the criticism received  Niaz said, “one side of the story always attracts.”

“I wonder why one has to be reminded @shoaib100mph is a star,” Niaz wrote on Twitter following a backlash on social media.

“He [Akhtar] has been the best of the best, he shall always be. He has brought laurels to the country is undeniable,” he added.

Niaz further added: “One side of the story always attracts [attention] nonetheless having been friends for ages I’ll always wish him the best.”

What Happened at the show?

The controversy had erupted when the guests got together to analyse the game after Pakistan's victory on PTV Sports.

As Akhtar was going through some cricket trivia — during which he credited the Pakistan Super League's Lahore Qalandars team for discovering Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf — Niaz, seemed to take offence and snapped back at Akhtar.

"You're being a little rude and I don't want to say this: but if you're being over smart, you can go. I am saying this on-air," Niaz told a dumbstruck Shoaib, cutting him short and moving to the next guest for their comment.

It wasn't clear what rubbed Niaz the wrong way, and it seemed Shoaib himself was caught off guard.

As the tension in the room heightened following the interruption, Niaz called for a commercial break.

The show later resumed, but the atmosphere remained charged, and Akhtar, despite making an effort, seemingly struggled to get over the way he had been cut off.

He eventually decided to walk away from the show after apologising to the other guests, which included the likes of Sana Mir, Sir Viv Richards and David Gower, among others.

"A lot of apologies guys, a lot of apologies. I am resigning from PTV. The way I have been treated on national TV, I don't think I should be sitting here right now. So, I am resigning. Thank you very much," he said, before unclipping his mic and getting up from the table.

Niaz, seemingly undeterred by Shoaib's departure, continued reading from his script as if nothing had happened.