Channel's remarks cause outrage October 26, 2005

Shoaib threatens to sue broadcaster

AFP



Shoaib Akhtar: Clearly loves staying away from the spotlight... © AFP

Shoaib Akhtar has threatened to sue international satellite broadcasters ESPN-Star India unless they apologise for "derogatory remarks" made on a sports show.

Shoaib told AFP, "I am hurt over the derogatory remarks made on the Sportscentre programme on ESPN-Star India on Monday night and want a big-time apology or else I will sue them in an Indian court."

In a piece on Shoaib being two days late for a Pakistan team training camp in Lahore, the programme said "a dog's tail will never straighten" in reference to the bowler's questionable fitness record and commitment.

ESPN-STAR Sports is a joint venture between two of the world's leading cable and satellite broadcasters, ESPN and STAR. Until last year it was the official broadcaster of international cricket played in India.

Shoaib said the channel, which is also seen in Pakistan, insulted Inzamam-ul Haq, the Pakistan captain, in another recent programme.

"A few days back they said insulting remarks about our captain Inzamam-ul Haq and that's unbearable.

"What they said about me is tantamount to defamation and I've received numerous calls from Pakistan and India, and others thought it was disgusting too."

Shoaib, 30, faces a crucial fitness test in Pakistan's ongoing tune-up camp ahead of next month's home series against England.

One of the fastest bowlers in the history of the game, Shoaib has a long injury record and missed Pakistan's away series in India and the West Indies earlier this year due to fitness problems.

Last week, he was lambasted by John Elliott, Worcestershire county chairman, who said he was difficult to handle during his stint at the county this year.