Dr Nauman Niaz apologises to Shoaib Akhtar

ISLAMABAD: PTV Sports anchor Dr Nauman Niaz has apologised to former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar over his conduct during a live TV show.

According to the details, the apology came during a YouTube show of journalist Rauf Klasra, where the PTV broadcaster admitted that he was wrong.

“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.

“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.”

“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 the ministry of commerce in 2019, over business links with India due to our current political stance. I again absorbed that,” he added.

“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 the next day he didn’t join us for the show but instead appeared on a couple of other TV shows, which was against clause five of his contract with PTV,” he said.  

“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.

Meanwhile, Shoaib Akhtar said on Thursday he had forgiven show host, Dr Nauman Niaz, for the sake of the country and state institutions

Earlier, Former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar dramatically resigned on-air and walked off from the Game On Hai show on PTV Sports on Tuesday night after being insulted by host Dr Nauman Niaz.

According to the details, Shoaib Akhtar was invited to discuss the Pakistan cricket team’s performance in the ongoing T20 World Cup by a channel alongside world cricket greats like Sir Vivian Richards and David Gower.

Shoaib Akhtar was invited to discuss the Pakistan cricket team’s performance in the ongoing T20 World Cup by a Pakistani channel alongside world cricket greats like Sir Vivian Richards and David Gower. While discussing the rise of Shaheen Afridi and Haris Sohail in the national team, Akhtar was interrupted by the host Dr Nauman Niaz.

Akhtar was displeased with the interruption and as he expressed his dissatisfaction, the host offered him to leave the show midway if he wants to. 

“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 live on-air.

The video clip of the same has since gone viral on social media.

Akhtar, later, resigned from the channel having been embarrassed about what happened during the live show.

“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,” he said, before unclipping his mic and getting up from the table.

Meanwhile, in his Twitter message, Akhtar said “Multiple clips are circulating on social media so I thought I should clarify. Dr Nauman was obnoxious and rude when he asked me to leave the show, it was embarrassing specially when you have legends like Sir Vivian Richards and David Gower sitting on the set with some of my contemporaries and seniors and millions watching,” he said.

“I tried to save everyone from embarrassment by saying I was pulling Dr Nauman’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,” Shoaib added.

Raja Furqan Ahmed

Raja Furqan Ahmed is the News Editor of The Pakistan Daily.

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