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Monday November 29, 2021

Dr Nauman Niaz, Shoaib Akhtar taken off air by PTV following spat

Decision was taken upon recommendation of an inquiry committee formed by PTV to investigate matter

October 28, 2021
Former bowler Shoaib Akhtar and PTV anchorperson Dr Nauman Niaz. — Screengrab via Geo News
Former bowler Shoaib Akhtar and PTV anchorperson Dr Nauman Niaz. — Screengrab via Geo News

Following an angry dispute between former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar and  PTV Sports anchorperson Dr Nauman Niaz, the Pakistan Television Network has decided to take both of them off-air.

According to a statement issued by the PTV in this regard,  both personalities will remain off-air until the inquiry committee completes its probe into the matter.

Sources said that the decision was taken by the state broadcaster upon the recommendation of an inquiry committee which was specifically formed to investigate the matter.

Sources said that the recommendation was presented during a meeting of the inquiry committee in which the managing director of the state broadcaster, along with other higher-ups, was present.

During the meeting, the unpleasant episode that occurred between legendary bowler Shoaib Akhtar and Niaz was thoroughly discussed and a report prepared in this regard was also reviewed, sources said.

The inquiry committee said that it had interviewed Niaz regarding the spat after which it forwarded the recommendation of taking Niaz off-air. Meanwhile, the inquiry committee had also summoned Shoaib Akhtar to appear before it. Akhtar, however, had refused to appear before the committee and had said that "they should look at the videos instead."

It should be recalled that on Tuesday, Akhtar and Niaz were embroiled in a spat during the PTV Sports show "Game on Hai".

The two were discussing Pakistan's victory over New Zealand when tensions between Niaz, the host of the show, and Shoaib Akhtar, one of the many decorated panellists on the show, escalated.

As Shoaib 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 Shoaib.

"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 tensions rose, the show went off-air for a commercial break. After it resumed, the discussion revolved around cricket once again but Shoaib Akhtar was visibly disturbed.

A few moments later, he unclipped his mic and walked off the show, announcing his resignation during the live transmission.

"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, and left.