Afridi is a one trick pony who basically built his whole career on one innings and the appeal of better-than-usual-Hindustani looks to dimwitted fans. Miandad, by force of will, coached him to a Test century in India. I am not denying he (S K Afridi) wasn't talented, on the contrary he took his gifts lightly, blaming instead his "uncertain" spot in the team. You know, government employees the world over are losing their jobs, there is supposed to be certainty in day jobs, not in Professional Sports, not a concept easily explained to many Pakistan fans.
In the 2000 to 2007 period, Afridi could have been massive in Tests. He didn't value the format, and he doesn't care for the game, its history or its aura. In T20, basically a format custom made for him, he's been outshone by many others. It takes savvy to play even T20 but maybe not sidestreet tapeball. He's a prima ballerina who can get very bitey,
But his spin isn't biting off the pitch any more, and that's a shame, because he and Saeed Ajmal complemented each other well, and both are less effective when the the other is not playing. Afridi was a very good player at times, captained his side to an unlikely spot in the 2011 WC semis, but again lost his nerve in what should have been a win against India. I doubt SL could have surmounted Pakistan in the final.
It's not Afridi's fault but he is representative of the steep decline of both Pakistani society, culture and Cricket, which manifested itself in the late 1990s and then hit turbo. Shahid is popular with youth. That makes sense, Pakistan has an oversupply of kids, and the most frightening thing is the kiddies think they understand Cricket, history and politics, even though they have no context to frame information off the web or mobile clips, or any recollections other than slogans. It was the worst of times. Pakistan has a habit of treating its heroes badly in every arena, e.g. M. M. Alam. A grown man who has done well playing a children's game for far longer than he deserved, who is now asked to step aside - is that really a tragedy?