Shoaib Akhtar quits PTV Sports and walks out after being 'insulted on live TV'
Rawalpindi Express’ walkout prompted a storm on the social media with majority sympathising with him and demanding an apology from PTV Sports host
Former Pakistani speedster Shoaib Akhtar, also known as the Rawalpindi Express for his sheer fast bowling, was embroiled in a controversy when he walked out of a TV programme and resigned from his job as cricket analyst after being told to leave the set by the host of the show at state-owned PTV Sports.
Shoaib Akhtar, 46, said he had been treated badly and insulted on air by the host in the post-match show following Pakistan’s five-wicket win over New Zealand in the ongoing T20 World Cup on Tuesday.
Shoaib Akhtar, who played 46 Tests and 163 ODIs, got up, took off his microphone and left. Host Nauman Niaz didn’t attempt to call him back and showed no reaction at all and carried on with the show as normal.
But the other guests on the show including greats like Sir Vivian Richards, David Gower, Rashid Latif, Umar Gul, Aaqib Javed and Pakistan women’s team captain Sana Mir were clearly shaken by the incident.
Dr Nauman Niaz and Shoaib Akhtar had a harsh exchange of words during live PTV transmission. pic.twitter.com/nE0OhhtjIm— Kamran Malik (@Kamran_KIMS) October 26, 2021
Akhtar’s walkout prompted a storm on social media with the majority of the netizens sympathising with him and demanding an apology from the PTV
Sports host, Niaz, who is a well-known cricket historian and analyst who heads the PTV sports department.
Clips of the argument between Akhtar and the host which led to the resignation part were also shared widely on social media.
Akhtar himself took to Twitter on Wednesday to clarify his position. “Multiple clips are circulating on social media so I thought I shud clarify. dr noman was abnoxious (sic) and rude wen he asked me to leave the show," Akhtar tweeted.
“It was embarrassing specially wen u have legends like sir Vivian Richards and David Gower sitting on the set with some of my contemporaries and seniors and millions watching.
“I tried to save everyone from embarrassment by saying I was pulling dr nomans 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."
After the break, they both try to sort out. Please see my earlier tweet when they exchanged harsh words during the live transmission. pic.twitter.com/kXA06Armxn— Kamran Malik (@Kamran_KIMS) October 26, 2021
The problem began apparently when Akhtar ignored the line of questioning by the host and decided to talk about pacer Haris Rauf and chose to lavish praise on the Pakistan Super League franchise Lahore Qalanders and its coach Aaqib for discovering Haris and supporting him properly.
“This is the guy who deserves all the credit. It was Lahore Qalandars who gave us Haris Rauf," Akhtar said as he pointed towards the former Test pacer as Noman tried to interrupt him.
The host, clearly annoyed and irritated with Akhtar trying to undermine him, told Shoaib that he had been misbehaving with him and he would not tolerate that and in such circumstances it was better if he left the show and then went for a commercial break.
Multiple clips are circulating on social media so I thought I shud clarify. pic.twitter.com/ob8cnbvf90— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) October 26, 2021
“You have misbehaved with me and I am telling you, you can leave the show now," the host said.
After the break when the transmission resumed, there was more drama when Akhtar said he would like to close the unpleasant incident but demanded an apology from the host, who did not budge and started discussing the match.
I wonder why one has to be reminded @shoaib100mph is a star. He has been the best of the best, he shall always be. He has brought laurels to the country is undeniable. One side of the story always attracts nonetheless having been friends for ages I’ll always wish him the best.— Dr. Nauman Niaz (@DrNaumanNiaz) October 26, 2021
Few minutes later Akhtar turned to his fellow experts on the show and after apologising to them announced he was resigning from PTV Sports.
“My apologies for this but I am resigning immediately from PTV sports as I have been insulted and treated badly on live television in front of the nation," he said.