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T20 World Cup 2021

Shoaib Akhtar walks off and resigns mid-show after claiming he was disrespected by anchor

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Watch: Shoaib Akhtar walked off and resigned as a pundit on PTV – a TV channel in Pakistan – on-air after claiming that he had been disrespected by the anchor of the show.

Discussing the game between Pakistan and New Zealand on the sports show “Game On Hai” after Pakistan defeated the Black Caps, Akhtar credited PSL team Lahore Qalandars for backing Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf. While the panel, also comprising Vivian Richards and David Gower, were discussing the performance of the fast bowlers, Akhtar was interrupted by anchor Nauman Niaz, which did not go down well with the former cricketer.

After expressing his displeasure, Niaz, instead of offering an apology, told Akhtar: “You’re being a little rude, and I don’t want to say this, but if you are being over-smart, you can go. I am saying this on air.”

As Akhtar interrupted Niaz, the anchor took an ad-break in a bid to settle the matter. However, the show took an expected turn once it resumed, with the cricketer demanding an apology on-air. With Niaz in no mood to relent, Akhtar decided to walk off the show, stating: “Lots of apologies guys. 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.”

The quick later posted a video on Twitter to clarify the issue, calling Niaz “obnoxious” for insulting a national star of live television. “I realised that there were superstars sitting with us, and I was worried about my image. I requested Niaz to end the matter as the clip can go viral, and I demanded an apology, but he didn’t. When he didn’t, I had enough and I decided to walk off as I just wanted an end to it. Being a national star, I felt bad as foreigners were amidst us, and I didn’t want them to think this is how a national star is treated by his countrymen,” said Akhtar in the two-minute clip.

He later put out a tweet, too. It read: “Multiple clips are circulating on social media so I thought I shud clarify.dr noman was abnoxious and rude wen he asked me to leave the show,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.”

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