KARACHI: Pakistan’s state sports channel PTV sports has decided to withdraw from its media partnership agreement with Karachi Kings, the most popular cricket team of Pakistan Super League (PSL), ARY News reported.
The decision to hold back the agreement is said to be taken after pressure from the highest quarters of the government.
PTV Sports had also signed the same agreements with Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators, which have been retained intact by the government sports channel.
PTV Sports and the Karachi Kings partnership has been held back due to technical reasons.
— PTV Sports Official (@PTVSp0rts) January 15, 2017
Dr Nauman Niaz, Director of PTV Sports, has also suffered consequences and removed from his position and made the Officer on Special Duty (OSD).
As a part of this collaboration with Karachi Kings, PTV Sports would have served as official channel of Karachi Kings to promote the team’s activities, players and events on its channel in the upcoming PSL season.
Karachi Kings also put forward the commitment that the channel will be promoted in all its activities.
Both Karachi Kings and PTV Sports had also agreed to create joint promotions, programming and other activities to promote the game of cricket and excite the youth of Pakistan towards this positive activity.
The government’s decision to withdraw the agreement between Karachi Kings and PTV sports was widely criticised by political leaders, legislators and general public.
“The decision to withdraw the Karachi Kings and PTV Sports contract smells like revenge. The decision is against Karachi and Sindh,” said Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Nisar Khuhro.
Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan (JIP) also condemned the move and demanded the restoration of the agreement.
“PTV Sports does not belong to PML-N, it is a state owned channel and runs on taxpayers’ money , so we demand restoration of the agreement, we will protest against the decision if it is not reversed,” said a statement issued by the party.
A Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Iqbal Muhammad Ali also criticised the government’s decision and termed it a revenge-tactic.
“This government leaves no chance to take revenge from ARY and this move is one of the anti-ARY acts by the government,” said Iqbal Mohammad Ali.
Nauman Niaz who was removed from his post after the decision was revered by many as a dedicated and hardworking director who contributed a lot in the promotion of PTV Sports by bringing a number of former cricketers to as analysts during cricketing events, especially PSL.
Among these top analysts were West Indies greats Brian Lara and Curtly Ambrose , Australia’s Glenn McGrath, Damien Martyn and Andrew Symonds and South Africa’s Hershelle Gibbs and Jonty Rhodes.
Sri Lankan great Sanath Jayasuriya was also seen a number of times on PTV Sports, all due to the efforts of Dr Niaz.
His current panel on Pakistan-Australia series included Pakistan’s legendary cricketers Wasim Akram, Rashid Latif and Shoaib Akhtar.