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Shoaib Akhtar walks out of national TV’s talk show after being ‘insulted’

While the panel was discussing the performance of pace bowlers Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf, Akhtar was interrupted by Niaz. A visibly upset Akhtar expressed his displeasure and the host offered him to leave the show midway if he wanted to.

SNS | New Delhi |

Shoaib Akhtar, a former Pakistani fast bowler, has courted controversy by storming out of a live show on PTV due to a disagreement with the host, Nauman Niaz. Later, he posted a video on social media, claiming that as a “national celebrity,” he is entitled to respect.

The Rawalpindi Express, as Akhtar is known, went on the show to discuss the Babar Azam-led team’s performance in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup, as well as cricket legends such as Vivian Richards of the West Indies and England’s David Gower.

While the panel was discussing the performance of pace bowlers Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf, Akhtar was interrupted by Niaz. A visibly upset Akhtar expressed his displeasure and the host offered him to leave the show midway if he wanted 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.

Later, giving his side of the story, Akhtar tweeted and posted a video, saying that Niaz had been “obnoxious” and that he was quitting the show.

“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 u have legends like Sir Vivian Richards and David Gower sitting on the set with some of my contemporaries (sic),” tweeted Akhtar.

In a two-minute video posted on social media, Akhtar said, “There was an unpleasant incident on PTV where Nauman Niaz was being obnoxious and he asked me to leave for no rhyme or reason… I don’t know why he said that. He insulted a national star on national TV and side-lined me. I realised that all the superstars (former cricketers) were on the show, what image will they form?

“I requested Nauman to help me resolve the situation… because I was afraid the dialogue might go viral.” So, in order to avoid sending a negative message to the foreigners, I pretended it was a joke and that he was pulling my leg. I urged him to apologise to me on television, but he refused. I decided I’d had enough when he didn’t apologise, and it was time for me to leave (sic).

“I did everything I could to restore the damage within the programme, but he never apologised. On national television, he insulted me. I felt terrible about being a national celebrity… There were so many foreigners in the audience; what would they think… what impression will they leave… Here’s how national celebrities are treated. I considered resigning and leaving. I simply got up and walked away. It was a tragic affair “Akhtar concluded.

(With IANS inputs)