Akhtar quit live on air after facing “rude and obnoxious” behaviour during a show on PTV Sports, hosted by Niaz, few days back
The Pakistan Television (PTV) Anchorperson Dr Nauman Niaz has apologised for his on-screen spat with former speedster Shoaib Akhtar.
Akhtar quit live on air after facing “rude and obnoxious” behaviour during a show on PTV Sports, hosted by Niaz, few days back.
Soon after, PTV decided to take Niaz and Akhtar off-air and a committee was formed to investigate the incident.
“The repercussions of my on-air outburst is totally fair. To err is human, that should not have happened and for that I can apologise not only once but a million times. I know I hurt the sentiments of a lot of people and that includes Shoaib Akhtar, who has been a rollicking star… regardless of the fact that it was his mistake or not,” said Niaz on Rauf Klasra’s YouTube channel.
Akhtar wanted a salary increment
“Shoaib was contracted with us [PTV Sports] on basis of exclusivity. People think that I’m just the host, they forget that I also sign his [Shoaib Akhtar] salary because I’m the head of the channel,” he said. “The problem which I was facing is that we give him retainer throughout the year and these big tournaments are the cash cows in terms of return of investment. So we announced him [as part of the show during the World Cup] but after that Shoaib asked me for increment in his salary or a fixed sum of money apart from his usual retainer. Later, we met the managing director and agreed on a certain figure.”
Rawalpindi Express violated his contract with PTV
“He [Shoaib] was supposed to join us for the World Cup transmission on October 17 but he was absent. Then I was told that he had gone to Dubai, where he appeared [on a TV show] with Harbhajan Singh. That was another issue for me because as state broadcasters there is an embargo, put in place by ministry of commerce in 2019, over business links with India due to our current political stance. I again absorbed that,” he said.
“When I contacted him, Shoaib said that he will come on Monday but he didn’t turn up. We reached the Super 12s but he didn’t turn up. Then he said that he isn’t feeling well. He came for the India-Pakistan post-match show, which went well. But next day he didn’t join us for the show but instead appeared on couple of other TV shows, which was against clause five of his contract with PTV,” he added.
PTV demeaned and taken for granted
“I wasn’t angry at Shoaib but it demeaned Pakistan television because we were selling him as part of our great team. This showed that PTV was being taken for granted despite the fact that we were offering him a package which was better than everyone else in the sports production,” he said.
“These things were building up and what happened was that in my subliminal mind all this was packed. In my cognitive mind, this led to a minor abrasion and overlapping and so this incident happened. It was inexcusable, unwarranted, unwanted, unplanned and I don’t want to disrespect anyone. I’m ready to apologise in front of the whole nation for that inexcusable act as I consider it my duty and obligation,” he concluded.
In a post-match show, after Pakistan’s win over New Zealand, Akhtar and 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.
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
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,” he added.
Multiple clips are circulating on social media so I thought I shud clarify. pic.twitter.com/ob8cnbvf90— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) October 26, 2021