Shahid Afridi will not be playing for Pakistan against Ireland after all. And it is not for obvious reasons.
Afridi received the news last week that he would be part of the Pakistan ODI squad travelling to Ireland for the ODI series. However, the Pakistan captaincy tag was plucked from him. Instead Misbah ul Haq, the current Pakistan Test captain, was handed over the reins.
With the Pakistan Cricket Board unwilling to go into the details, it was fairly easy to summarize that Afridi lost the captaincy job despite holding it for a year because he had spoken in public about his reported rifts with the Pakistan coach, Waqar Younis. The PCB, never a big fans of players speaking freely to reporters and the media, decided that Afridi had breached the media gag clause far too many times and that he needed to be told in harsher terms.
With the removal of the captaincy post, it was speculated upon that Shahid Afridi would express his own displeasure at the turn of events by probably retiring from ODI cricket as well after retiring from Test cricket last year in England before the spot fixing scandal was exposed.
The news that Afridi would not be playing in the Pakistan Ireland ODI series despite being named in the squad sent conspiracy theories scurrying. However, Afridi appears to have a graver reason for his absence. Perhaps with the loss of his captaincy as well, Afridi only thought it wise that he should spend time with his ailing father who is reporting receiving treatment in the U.S. where Afridi will be travelling to. That would explain his temporary absence in Ireland, putting to rest some of the drama that has revolved around the enigmatic, temperamental all rounder.