ISLAMABAD – Cricket expert and host Nauman Niaz has apologized to cricketer turned analyst Shoaib Akhtar over his verbal spat with the latter during a live transmission on state-run TV.
In his first comments after the controversy, which made headlines across the globe, Dr. Nauman said that the outburst of what he did on-air was justified and he apologised thousands of times for his behavior.
Speaking with a Pakistani journalist on his YouTube channel, the former host of Game on Hai said he can apologise not only once but a thousand times. I know I hurt the feelings of a lot of cricket-loving fans including Shoaib Akhtar, who has been a star, regardless of the fact that it was his mistake or not.
Narrating his side of the story in the first interview, he said his father told that he did not expect this from him. You made a mistake as Shoaib is the star, you should have taken care of the matter, he said while quoting his father.
“Whatever the reason, I had no right to do all this on-air, it was my fault. Akhtar is a star and I love his cricket,” he further added.
Apologizing for what he did in front of foreign dignitaries, he admitted that he should have handled the matter in a cordial way.“It shouldn’t have happened. I’m ready to pay the price and am paying”, he said.
Meanwhile, Nauman Niaz mentioned an anecdote about ‘Rawalpindi Express’ behavior as the latter ‘violated’ his contract with the state TV.
Shoaib was supposed to join us for the World Cup transmission on October 17 but he was absent, Nauman said while adding that he appeared on other TV channels breaching the contract he made with PTV.
Pakistan Television was being taken for granted despite the fact that we were offering him a package which was better than everyone else in the sports production,” he mentioned, adding that these things were building up and what happened was that in my subliminal mind all this was packed.
Akhtar said he forgives Nauman Niaz for ‘Pakistan’s sake’
Legend pacer and cricket analyst Shoaib Akhtar on Thursday said he had forgiven former PTV host, Dr Nauman Niaz, for the sake of Pakistan and state institutions. Speaking on a cricket analysis show, the 46-year-old said he kept waiting for Nauman to apologise, but he did not, compelling him to leave the show.
Earlier, the state broadcaster had decided to take both personalities off-air following the spat between two that garnered international attention. Both of them won’t be a part of any show on PTV until the inquiry is completed and the facts are ascertained, said the national television.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had also taken notice of the matter, while Minister of State Ali Mohammad said that the premier called for immediate action.
PTV administration also formed a committee to investigate the matter which happened during Game On Hai, after the match between Pakistan and New Zealand in the ICC T20 World Cup concluded October 26.
Akhtar, who was a part of analysts, announced to step down as a cricket analyst and walked off after famed cricket broadcaster, called him ‘rude’ and told him that ‘he is free to go if he wants to’.