Cricketing legend Shoaib Akhtar on Tuesday quit his spot on the state broadcaster PTV after he was apparently insulted by anchor Dr Nauman Niaz, host of the show Game On Hai.
Akhtar and Niaz were part of a panel which included West Indies batting legend Sir Vivian Richards, former England captain David Gower, former Pakistan women’s captain Sana Mir and former fast bowler Umar Gul. The panel was discussing the Pakistan-New Zealand T20 World Cup match which Pakistan won by five wickets.
While discussing the Pakistan squad, Akhtar spoke of Lahore Qalanders for discovering Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf.
Comment on Akhtar’s remarks, Niaz said, “You are being a little rude so I don’t want to say this but if you’re being over-smart then you can go. I am saying this on air.”
After the commercial break, Akhtar came on the screen to apologise to the guests on the panel and announced his resignation from PTV. He said that he could not continue with the programme because of “how I was treated on national television.”
A clip of the incident went viral on social media. In another video of the show in circulation, it appeared that Akhtar was telling Niaz to let the audience know that “it was all planned. What we did is just try and get more TRP (television rating point).”
Taking to Twitter, Akhtar clarified his position, saying the entire incident was “unpleasant” and that Niaz was being “obnoxious” and had asked him to leave for “no rhyme and reason.”
“He sidelined me after abruptly insulting me — a national star — on national TV and then went on break. I realised that superstars and foreigners are sitting and what image would be delivered so I asked Nauman to end the matter otherwise what you’ve done with me will go viral and there will be no solution to that.”
Akhtar said he had asked Niaz to apologise to him but he refused. This compelled him to leave the show. “I tried to repair the damage,” Akhtar added.