Cricket legend hits out at Blackcaps, quits job on live TV

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 27 Oct 2021, 6:45PM

Cricket legend hits out at Blackcaps, quits job on live TV

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 27 Oct 2021, 6:45PM

Outspoken Pakistan cricket great Shoaib Akhtar has had an eventful 24 hours. 

The controversial fast bowler turned cricket pundit had another dig at the Black Caps for cancelling their recent Pakistan tour over a security threat, watched his former team beat New Zealand at the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup, got into on air stoush on Pakistani TV, then proceeded to quit his job live on air. 

The 46-year-old Akhtar, who was widely regarded as the fastest bowler in international cricket during his playing days, was one of New Zealand's harshest critics for the decision to postpone their recent tour of Pakistan after a "specific and credible threat" was made against the Black Caps. 

At the time, Akhtar claimed that the decision "killed Pakistan cricket" and he couldn't help but have another dig at the Black Caps ahead of their World Cup opener against Pakistan on Wednesday morning. 

"I request all Pakistan fans to remain silent and not enjoy too extravagantly. There is every chance that New Zealand may ask for the match to be called off due to too much noise inside the stadium, if not for security concerns," he said on Twitter. 

He then got into some live TV drama on Pakistan TV's cricket show 'Game on Hai' after Pakistan's five-wicket victory over the Black Caps. 

Akhtar, who was a panelist on the show, was discussing cricket trivia, where he credited Pakistan Super League's Lahore Qalandards for discovering Shaheen Sha Afridi and Haris Rauf, when the show's host Nauman Niaz seemed to take offence and hit back at Akhtar. It is unclear what caused the issue for Niaz. 

"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 on the show, before later cutting Akhtar off and calling for a commercial break. 

Akhtar eventually decided to walk away from the show live on air after apologising to the show's other guests, which included cricket greats Sir Viv Richards and David Gower. 

"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," he said, before taking his mic off and walking away from the set. 

Akhtar later took to Twitter to clear up the incident, calling it "embarrassing". He explained that he tried to turn the disagreement on the show into a joke, "with this mutual understanding that Dr Nauman will also politely apologise and we will move on with the show, which he refused to do. Then I had no other choice".