Pakistan Television (PTV) has decided to take sports show host Dr Nauman Niaz and bowling legend Shoaib Akhtar off-air after their on-screen spat made headlines across the country.
Former Pakistan speedster Akhtar quit live on air after facing “rude and obnoxious” behaviour during a show on PTV Sports.
In a post-match show, after Pakistan’s win over New Zealand, Akhtar and the show’s host, Niaz, were involved in a verbal spat while discussing the impact of Lahore Qalandars’ Player Development Program (PDP) on pacers Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf’s performance.
“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 Akhtar before switching to a commercial break.
Shoaib and Niaz remained on air after the break but the former eventually decided to leave the show after apologising to the other guests, which included cricket greats like Sir Viv Richards and David Gower.
“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,” said Akhtar before leaving the set.
Later, Akhtar explained the incident on his official Twitter account through a brief video and couple of tweets.
“Multiple clips are circulating on social media so I thought I should clarify. Dr Noman was obnoxious and rude when he asked me to leave the show. It was embarrassing especially when you have legends like Sir Vivian Richards and David Gower sitting on the set with some of my contemporaries,” read one of his tweet.
“I tried to save everyone from embarrassment by saying I was pulling Dr Noman’s leg with this mutual understanding that Dr Noman will also politely apologise and we will move on with the show, which he refused to do. Then I had no other choice.”
In response to the incident, the PTV administration published a response that they’ve formed a committee to investigate the incident.
پی ٹی وی انتظامیہ کا پی ٹی وی سپورٹس پر شعیب اختر کےساتھ پروگرام میں پیش آنے والے واقعہ کا نوٹس pic.twitter.com/Q9pwvLD08V
— PTV News (@PTVNewsOfficial) October 27, 2021
However, the investigation will take time and due to the increasing pressure by social media to remove Niaz from PTV Sports show, the PTV administration published another notice that him and Akhtar will stay off the air until the investigation in complete.
Many former cricketers and other celebrities from different fields tweeted in favour of Akhtar, saying a national star show shouldn’t have been treated like this.
Our national heroes have put us on the world map for years…#ShoaibAkhtar is our cricket Legend, I am absolutely appalled at the misbehaviour & disrespect shown to him by a tv anchor, no justification whatsoever!
Sir, we respect you & THANKYOU for your services to Pakistan! 🇵🇰
— MAWRA HOCANE (Hussain) (@MawraHocane) October 28, 2021
#ShoaibAkhtar’s service to Pakistan and contributions to international Cricket forever have the utmost UNDISPUTED #respect of every Pakistani and every global fan of cricket. @shoaib100mph is a National Hero.
— Momina Mustehsan (@MominaMustehsan) October 27, 2021
Insulting #ShoaibAkhtar has brought #NaumanNiaz in the news but Dr. Nauman has been behaving like this for years. Dr. Nauman Niaz, son of (Retd.) Lt. Gen Hamid is the Director of Sports and Syndication at PTVC, and runs PTV Sports like his personal fiefdom. Nothing will 1/3
— Shehzad Ghias Shaikh (@Shehzad89) October 27, 2021