The talisman stood there in the middle of Lord's, arms aloft, bat in one hand, helmet in the other, soaking in the atmosphere and the adulation. Shahid Afridi had just won Pakistan the World T20 with his all-round heroics and brought smiles to his nation. About two years ago, they had suffered the heartbreak of losing in the 2007 World T20 final against India in Johannesburg in a nail-biting thriller.
The day 21 June, 2009, will forever be fresh in the minds of the Pakistan fans. A special player had earned them a special win at the home of cricket. This was a different version of Afridi on display. A calmer and mature Afridi.