A clash of mighty egos
Afridi fee;s humiliated. So what’s new? We have a habit of not honouring our national heroes.
It is hard to accept but celebrated all-rounder Shahid Afridi has decided to put a full-stop to an illustrious career - at least for the time being. The 31-year-old, followed by millions across the globe, said his decision was prompted by the “humiliation” meted out to him by the Pakistan Cricket Board.
So what’s new? We have a habit of not honouring our national heroes. And Afridi, maybe you’re not such a hero after all. Irresponsible, immature attitude exhibited off and on during the 15-year career led to your downfall, and still you haven’t learnt. Throwing away your wicket when the team sorely needed a responsible knock from you is hardly an example you should have set for a young brigade that has barely hatched out of easily the most scandalous period of Pakistan’s cricket history.
Add to this, you openly articulate the team’s differences in front of the media. So what do you expect in return?
Credit is due to you, however, for leading Pakistan when no one else would have wanted to or deemed suitable for. It was like running for presidency when the country is in a shambles. Sounds familiar. And Afridi, you did a good job. A run to the semi-final, a series-win against New Zealand, West Indies and good quality cricket against England and South Africa. And just when the team looked set, you upset the PCB. You were a temporary replacement after Mohammad Yousuf suffered the Australian humiliation and now the board seemed to have found an able leader.
So where is the dark knight that will guide Pakistan now? Misbahul Haq led Pakistan to a 2-0 win. But he is hardly the ‘new leader’. He is 37 years old and will not last till the next World Cup given Pakistan’s habit of changing captains frequently. It’s not about Afridi’s performance as leader nor is it about finding a better man for the job. It’s about Ijaz Butt and his big ego. He won’t tolerate nonsense – from someone else’s mouth – since he’s the big daddy of Pakistan cricket.
But enough is enough. Fans won’t tolerate this latest development and it will take a drastic U-turn on Afridi’s part for Butt to remain in power. Time is running out Mr Butt.