'Obnoxious and rude': Cricket great quits after live TV walkout

·4-min read
Cricket great Shoaib Akhtar is seen here on a sports program on Pakistan TV.
Shoaib Akhtar stormed off set after a heated argument on Pakistan TV. Pic: PTV Sports

Pakistan cricket great Shoaib Akhtar has sensationally quit his television role after storming off set during a drama-charged moment live on air.

Akhtar was part of the panel for Pakistan sport show 'Game on Hai' when he became embroiled in a bizarre argument with the show's host, Dr Nauman Niaz.

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The legendary fast bowler was discussing Pakistan's T20 World Cup match against New Zealand when he was interrupted by Niaz on air.

Akhtar appeared to be somewhat agitated and pressed on with what he was saying before the show's host fired back.

“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,” Niaz said.

The host tried to steer the conversation onto somethiong else but Akhtar interjected, unwilling to let the incident slide.

Niaz quickly called for an ad break but it did little to quell the tensions between the pair.

When the broadcast did resume moments later, Akhtar took off his microphone and promptly left the set, with fellow cricket greats and panelists David Gower and Viv Richards reduced to being stunned onlookers.

“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,” he said.

Pictured here, Shoaib Akhtar and Dr Nauman Niaz have a discussion on Pakistan TV.
Shoaib Akhtar was not happy with the way the show's host Dr Nauman Niaz had treated him. Pic: PTV Sports

Shoaib Akhtar explains resignation

Akhtar explained on Twitter that tensions arose after a joke between himself and Niaz that he was worried the shows guests might not understand.

“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 amid 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.

Akhtar then unloaded on Niaz in a follow-up post on Twitter.

“Multiple clips are circulating on social media so I thought I shud clarify. Dr Nauman was abnoxious (sic) and rude wen he asked me to leave the show,” he tweeted.

“It was embarrassing especially 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.

“I tried to save everyone from embarrassment by saying I was pulling Dr Nauman's leg with this mutual understanding that Dr Nauman will also politely apologise and we will move on with the show, which he refused to do. Then I had no other choice.”

Pakistan off to perfect start in World Cup

The friction in the studio was in stark contrast to Pakistan's performance at the World Cup, as they underlined their credentials with a second straight win.

Pakistan's Haris Rauf (4-22) and Shaheen Shah Afridi (1-21) helped restrict New Zealand to 8-134, and they appeared in trouble after slumping to 4-69 in the 12th over.

But in the end Pakistan cruised to victory, reaching 5-135 with eight balls to spare in a fine start to their bid for a second T20 World Cup title.

Mohammad Rizwan top scored with 33 while Shoaib Malik (26 not out) and Asif Ali (27 not out) guided 2009 champions Pakistan home with an unbroken 48-run stand.

"It's always good to win, we'll take this confidence forward in the tournament. The way Shaheen and Haris bowled was very impressive," Pakistan skipper Babar Azam said.

"I think we gave them 10 runs too many, but it's cricket and that happens.

"We lost wickets early, but I want to give credit to Shoaib and Asif."

with AAP

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