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Shoaib Akhtar, Nauman Niaz clarify positions after harsh debate on PTV sports

Shoaib Akhtar Dr Nauman Niaz

Former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has issued a video statement after the heated debate between him and sports anchor Dr Nauman Niaz which led him to step down from his job as a cricket analyst.

Taking to Twitter, the speedster, who left the show at state-owned PTV, explained his position on the matter, saying he had been ready to avoid the ‘insult’ to prevent further awkwardness.

He said he did ask for an excuse on air from Niaz, which he refused to give.

“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 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 Niaz’s leg with this mutual understanding that Dr Nauman will also politely apologize and we will move on with the show, which he refused to do. Then I had no other choice,” Akhtar said.

The harsh debate between the two had involved player Haris Rauf after Pakistan thrashed New Zealand with five wickets.

However, before Akhtar’s response over the matter, Niaz had reacted to the ongoing flak after his fiery argument with Shoaib.

“I wonder why one has to be reminded @shoaib100mph is a star,” Niaz wrote on Twitter.

“He [Akhtar] has been the best of the best, he shall always be. He has brought laurels to the country is undeniable,” he added.

 “One side of the story always attracts [attention] nonetheless having been friends for ages I’ll always wish him the best,” Niaz added further.

What caused the verbal spat in the show?

The fiery argument between the two had begun when the guests got together to analyze the game after Pakistan’s victory.

During the considerations, Shoaib Akhtar credited the Pakistan Super League’s Lahore Qalandars team for seeing Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf, to which Nauman Niaz took resentment and snapped back at Akhtar saying: “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.”

With the resumption of the show after the commercial, Akhtar apologized to the guests and announced his resignation from PTV, saying that he could not continue with the programme because of “how I was treated on national television”.

Before walking off from the set, Akhtar said, “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.”

The incident soon became viral on social media with the two individuals becoming top trends on Twitter.

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