It has been 13 long years since Shahid Afridi made his debut for Pakistan.
For all those years Afridi has given his all to Pakistan cricket, turning up endlessly for them and doing what he has been asked to do.
He opened when he was asked to open.
He moved down the order when his captains thought he would be more effective there.
He bowled whenever he was asked to.
He played as a batsman when that is what the team wanted him to be.
He played as a bowler when Pakistan wanted him to.
He played test cricket when asked to, he played only ODIs and T20Is when he was not considered good enough for test cricket.
For 13 long years Shahid Afridi has served Pakistan cricket with Panache.
Tonight is the start of the second part of Afridi's career.
It is the launch of Shahid Afridi the captain.
In the twenty20 match against Sri Lanka, Afridi will walk out on to the field at the helm of Pakistan cricket.
It is a role that he has yearned for for years; it is a role that he has dreamed of since his U-19 days; it is a role that he has earned after leading Pakistan to the World Twenty20 title; it is a role that is deservedly his!
Pakistan's one off twenty20 match against Sri Lanka is the start of a new journey for Shahid Afridi, and for Pakistan.
For Afridi, it will be the first time he captains Pakistan in an international match; for Pakistan, it will be the first time they take the field as world champions.
This is Shahid Afridi's playing field; it is his time to shine; it is his time to take Pakistan to newer and bigger heights; it is the start of his campaign to defend Pakistan's twenty20 crown in 8 months time.
I don't think any other blog or forum has supported Shahid Afridi as much as I have on Well Pitched. Considering that, you can only imagine how excited I am to see him captain Pakistan, something that I have asked for time and again.
Here's wishing Shahid Afridi all the best in his new role for Pakistan.
Go make us proud!