Rawalpindi Express chugs again

It seemed as if Dr Niaz has a personal enmity with PSL or Lahore Qalandars for that matter, which resulted in him insulting a star cricketer on live TV, that too in front of foreigners

Who does not know Shoaib Akhtar?

Rawalpindi Express. Super star. Claimant of Tendulkar scalp for a historic golden duck.

Shoaib Akhtar has several names and identities.

Despite all the glories on his controversy-infested CV, I never counted myself a fan of him for the reasons unknown to me.

That was that.

The statement, ‘I am not a fan of Shoaib Akhtar’, may be frowned upon by a few or several readers.

Hold on.

The world has millions of people who fall in the fan following of Messi; yet, there are millions who worship Ronaldo. So, being a fan of Messi does not mean Ronaldo is not worth following.

Well, I also joined the line of millions of people across the globe who call themselves the fan of Rawalpindi Express.


Well, his calm and composed exit from a live show on the state-run television channel is worth appreciating.

To put things straight, Shoaib Akhtar’s exit from his international cricket career was unceremonious. It is unfair of the PTV to disallow Akhtar along with its foul-mouthed anchor from appearing on its screen as long as an inquiry is complete into their spat. The inquiry should be directed to how a TV anchor dared ask a national hero to leave the show.

Under no journalism ethics does this attitude fall. The anchors are supposed to give maximum time to guests for speaking.

To be a good listener is the key to quality journalism. The PTV must unplug Shoaib Akhtar from the bar on him to appear on its screen as people, including you and me, want to see him.

This is quite unfair of the state-run TV to bracket the national hero with an anchor. Every street in Pakistan has a plenty of anchors, yet, a breed like Rawalpindi Express is rare.

Akhtar, a national star cricketer who has been called a living legend time and again, was humiliated on live television by Dr Nauman Niaz, the moderator of the show. The spat took place during a discussion after Pakistan won the match from New Zealand. It was extremely important for Pakistan to win against New Zealand as they had broken the hearts of millions of Pakistani cricket fans by pulling out of playing in Pakistan at the last minute. Everyone had high hopes from the team after their historic win against India in the previous match. After Pakistan won against New Zealand, celebrations were expected and there were many. However, more highlight was shed upon the incident that panned out on a PTV show which was meant to analyse the match played earlier.

By the clips of the incident shared on social media, it is evident that the anchorperson was being unreasonable and there was absolutely no need to act as such. Although, it is said that there are two sides of the story but the evidence seems to show that Akhtar was wronged as he was insulted for stating an extremely valid point. It seemed as if Dr Niaz has a personal enmity with PSL or Lahore Qalandars for that matter, which resulted in him insulting a star cricketer on live TV, that too in front of foreigners. If one watches the video clip, there is an awkwardness in the air as all the guests were baffled at how rudely the anchor responded to Akhtar when what he said was just an appreciative sentence.

Later, Akhtar shared a video message on his social media platforms, saying that the reason for his on-spot resignation from the show was how rudely he was treated. He cleared the air by saying that had the anchor apologized to him, he would have left this in the past. However, no apology came from Dr Niaz and therefore he quit. The reason this has become an issue is that a star was insulted on national television in front of foreigners, which gives an extremely disgusting image of Pakistan.

Showing respect to each other is the basic principle of human interaction but God knows when anchors will understand this.