Respect our national heroes: Celebs defend Shoaib Akhtar following spat with Nauman Niaz

Former cricketer quit live show after being faced with ‘obnoxious’ behaviour

Entertainment Desk October 27, 2021

Celebrities have come out in support of former cricketer Shoaib Akhtar after he quit live on air after facing “rude and obnoxious” behaviour during a post-match show on PTV Sports.

In the show which aired after Pakistan’s win over New Zealand, Akhtar and the show’s host, Dr Nauman Niaz, were involved in a verbal spat while discussing the impact of Lahore Qalandars’ Player Development Program (PDP) on pacers Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf’s performance.

“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 and immediately switched to a commercial break, after which the speedster was no longer a part of the show. 

Actor Adnan Siddiqui took to Twitter to laud the Akhtar’s professionalism. He wrote, “Really applaud the grace shown by Shoaib Akhtar. He handled the insult heaped on him with so much maturity and patience. Anyone else would have probably lost his cool on air but this guy maintained his dignity. Signs of a good upbringing.”

Singer Ali Zafar tweeted out a message on how we should “respect our national heroes” and that conflicting opinions “can be expressed politely”. He added in a separate tweet, “Generally speaking, in today’s world, the golden values of mutual respect, compassion, humility, empathy and the will to listen to each other’s point of view patiently are being replaced by hasty judgments, crude expression, nasty use of language and disrespect.”

Humayun Saeed asserted the need for an apology on part of Niaz, writing, “Arguments happen during TV shows but no host tells their guest to leave. That was no way to address any guest, let alone one of the biggest international stars Pakistan has ever produced. What happened, happened; Dr Noman should have at the very least apologised to Shoaib Akhtar.”

“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,” said Akhtar before leaving the set, which included cricket greats like Sir Viv Richards and David Gower.

Later, Akhtar explained the incident on his official Twitter account through a brief video and couple of tweets.




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