Pakistan Television (PTV) announced that it was taking anchor Dr Nauman Niaz and ex-cricketer Shoaib Akhtar off air until it completes its inquiry into their televised spat. Akhtar has, for his part, refused to appear before the committee formed by federal information minister Fawad Chaudhry to investigate the clash that took place during a broadcast after Pakistan’s victory over New Zealand.
Shoaib Akhtar has taken the position: “Whatever happened is out there for everyone to see.” In his view, the committee can complete its investigation based on footage from the televised show.
For its part, the PTV had announced on Twitter:
“It has been decided that Dr Nauman Niaz and Shoaib Akhtar will be taken off air until the the inquiry is completed.”
In response to this, Akhtar tweeted:
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.
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.”
Shoaib Akhtar had been so offended by his exchange with Dr Nauman Niaz that after a commercial break he got up, announced that he was resigning from PTV Sports due to how he had been spoken to, removed his mic and left the broadcast. A clip of the incident went viral on social media.