In a surprising turn of events during the 4th T20I match between Pakistan and New Zealand in Christchurch, PTV Sports, a government-owned channel, abruptly ceased its live broadcast. Muhammad Abbas Azad reports the unexpected halt, triggered by a fan displaying a poster of former Prime Minister Imran Khan in the stadium.
Display of Controversy: Imran Khan’s Poster Spurs Broadcast Disruption
The incident unfolded during the second innings as New Zealand chased Pakistan’s target of 159. A spectator holding up a poster of Imran Khan caught the attention, prompting an immediate cessation of the broadcast. The presence of the poster on TV screens led to an unexpected and controversial disruption.
Anyone knows why PTV suddenly stopped suddenly streaming of the cricket match when they realised Imran Khan’s poster was being shown? pic.twitter.com/jvGIrxisNl
— PTI (@PTIofficial) January 19, 2024
Political Shadows: Imran Khan’s Background and Current Situation
Imran Khan, renowned for his 1992 World Cup triumph, transitioned from cricket to politics with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. Currently incarcerated due to a political propaganda case, Khan’s speeches and press conferences have been halted by Pakistani media regulators, citing criticism of national institutions.
Social Media Outcry: Fans React to the Unusual Halt
Social media platforms lit up with expressions of anger and confusion as users learned about the reason behind the halted broadcast. One netizen voiced the sentiment that the ICC should intervene, emphasizing that a sports channel should remain apolitical.
Fans Speak Out:
- “ICC must take action on this…… A sports channel should stay away from politics.”
Match Recap: Pakistan’s Loss Amidst Controversy
Despite the broadcast interruption, the match proceeded, concluding with Pakistan losing to New Zealand by 7 wickets. Winning the toss, the Kiwis invited Pakistan to bat first, resulting in a total of 158 for 5 in 20 overs. Mohammad Rizwan stood out as the top scorer with an unbeaten 90 runs.
- Skipper Shaheen Afridi’s early wickets put the Kiwis at 20-3.
- Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Phillips’ unbeaten partnership of 139 runs secured New Zealand’s victory.
With this defeat, Pakistan trails 4-0 in the series, having already lost. The Green Shirts now face the final match, looking to salvage a win and end the series on a positive note.
In a cricketing world where sports and politics collide, the interruption raises questions about the intersection of national affairs and sportsmanship. As fans await the resolution of this unexpected controversy, the final match stands as a pivotal moment for Pakistan to leave a lasting impression.