Islamabad [Pakistan], October 27 (ANI): Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has been embroiled in a controversy as he walked off from a live TV show following disagreements with the host Nauman Niaz.
A video widely circulated on social media shows that Akhtar walked out of Pakistan Television (PTV) while discussing the Pakistan-New Zealand T20 World Cup match.
Local media reported that the two (Akhtar and Niaz) were part of a panel for PTV Sports programme "Game On Hai" along with guests such as West Indies batting legend Sir Vivian Richards, former England captain David Gower, former Pakistan women's captain Sana Mir and former fast bowler Umar Gul.
According to Dawn, the disagreement began when Akhtar was asked whether Pakistan made a mess of the chase against New Zealand. Akhtar ignored the line of questioning by the host and decided to talk about pacer Haris Rauf. Annoyed with Akhtar, Nauman called him 'rude' and said he was 'free to go if he wants to.
Niaz said: "You are being a little rude so I don't want to say this but if you're being over-smart then you can go. I am saying this on air."
However, in another snippet from the show, Akhtar can be seen telling Niaz to let the audience know "it was all planned. What we did is just try and get more TRP (television rating point)", adding that the anchor was a "favourite guy" of his and he liked to "pull his legs".
Akhtar, in a tweet, rejected the notion that it was a pre-planned move to boost TRP.
The former fast bowler said he had asked the anchor to apologise to him but Niaz did not which compelled him to leave the show. "I tried my level best to repair the damage [in] the programme," Akhtar added.
The incident caused an uproar on social media with politicians, journalists and media persons coming to the former cricketer's defence and criticising Niaz for his behaviour, according to Dawn. (ANI)