Oct 28, 2021: Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar on Wednesday after an on-air altercation with PTV Sports anchor Dr Noman Niaz said that Pakistan is his identity, he never let his country down, and left his fans to decide right and wrong.
The former Pakistani fast bowler posted a message on his Instagram story when the state broadcaster announced an investigation into the incident during a live show, where experts were analyzing the Pakistan vs New Zealand match on Tuesday.
Pakistan is my identity and I have never let my country down. I have given my blood and sweat for this country. I leave it up to my compatriots to decide between right and wrong, ”said Shoaib Akhar.
Dr. Niaz, who also holds an executive position at Pakistan Television (PTV), forced Akhtar to leave the show because of his performance as Man of the Match Harris Rauf and his preparation as a world-class player.
The argument took place in front of foreign guest stars Viv Richards and David Gower, who are in Pakistan for their expert opinion on the ongoing T20 World Cup.
As Rauf played a match-winning role in the team’s victory over New Zealand, Akhtar praised the Lahore Qalandars’ player development program and its co-operation, which angered the host.
Akhtar gave the host a chance to apologize, which he refused to do and forced him to leave the seat in the presence of well-known mega cricket stars. “It was an unfortunate incident in which the host was offended. He insulted a national star on national TV for unknown reasons. He insulted me in front of international stars.”
Later, after a backlash, Dr. Niaz posted a message acknowledging that Akhtar is a star and no one is denying it, but did not apologize for his insulting behavior. The incident is said to have brought the country and Pakistan cricket into disrepute. “I have never seen such a scene in my life,” Gower said after the controversy.
Former cricketers and politicians also came out in support of Akhtar, asking him to apologize to the PTV Sports anchor. Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi asked the authorities to remove the anchor.
“Dr Nauman Niaz acted like an arrogant little brat on PTV last night. He should be fired & blacklisted from [the] PTV screen until he tenders a public apology to all sitting on the show, especially Shoaib Akhtar,” he wrote on Twitter.
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