Only one player in the Pakistani cricket team knows the art of hitting the headlines. Be it in the prime of his performance or teetering on the brink of nadir of his career or not included in the team at all, yet his words and actions are conducted in the full glare of publicity. So you got it. It’s Shahid Afridi!

[caption id="attachment_2189" align="alignright" width="300"]Will the meeting help Afridi move up the promotion ladder in the team? (Photo: AP) Will the meeting help Afridi move up the promotion ladder in the team? (Photo: AP)[/caption]

His fame across Pakistan is known to all and sundry, and this is why the matters regarding his presence and absence from the side succeed in penetrating the higher echelons of politicians. After the 2011 tour of the West Indies, he took retirement in protest after developing rifts with then coach Waqar Younis, and he was not called back in the team until the retirement of then PCB chairman Ijaz Butt. But Afridi remained in the news all the while and the episode also gave insights into his political influence.

Afridi recently met new governor of Punjab Chaudhry Sarwar. According to sources privy to the development, Sarwar used to be Afridi’s host in England and the recent meeting is a link in the chain.

The all-rounder has also been close to Governor Sindh Ishratul Ibad, who used his political stature to bring Afridi in the national team or even make him captain of the side. Butt also disclosed Ibad’s support for Afridi.

From one governor to another, is Afridi vying to move up his career ladder? Are some circles, unhappy with Mohammad Hafeez as T20 captain, ready to welcome Afridi? Answers to these questions will come shortly.

Sarwar has close association with the country’s prime minister, Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, on whose request he returned to Pakistan, leaving his British nationality.
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