Simon & Schuster
|Number of Pages||608 Pages|
The nation of Pakistan was born out of the trauma of Partition from India in 1947. Its cricket team evolved in the aftermath, in chaotic and desperate circumstances. Initially dispersed, unrecognised, underfunded and weak, Pakistan's team grew to become a major force in world cricket. Since the early days of the Raj, cricket has been entwined with national identity and Pakistan 's successes helped to define its status in the world. Defiant in defence, irresistible in attack, players such as A. H. Kardar, Fazal Mahmood, Hanif Mohammad, Majid Khan, Javed Mian-dad, Abdul Qadir, Wasim Akram and Imran Khan awed their contemporaries and inspired their successors. The story of Pakistan cricket is filled with both triumph and tragedy. In recent years, its cricketers have been a prey to problems which have threatened Pakistan's very existence-fallout from the 'war on terror', sectarian violence, gangsterism and corruption, deep-seated crises in education, health and the environment and a shortage of effective leaders. For twenty years, Pakistan cricket has been stained by the scandalous behaviour of the players involved in match fixing. Since 2009, the fear of violence has driven Pakistan's international cricket into exile. No one knows when it will return home.
But Peter Oborne's narrative is also full of hope. He shows how cricket, once largely confined to the great cities of Karachi and Lahore, has won players and followers from all over the country. He tells the dramatic and heartwarming story of women's cricket in Pakistan, once in the shadows, now a force in the world. For all its troubles, cricket gives all Pakistanis a chance to excel and express themselves, a sense of identity and a cause for pride in their country.
About the Author
Peter Oborne is a former political editor of the Spectator. He now writes a weekly column for the Daily Mail, in addition to writing and presenting regular TV documentaries on current affairs.