Title: The Corridor of Uncertainty: How Cricket Mended a Torn Nation
Author: Nihar Suthar
Publisher: Pitch Publishing
Genre: Sports – circket, Biography
Book format: Paperback
Description: In 1979, Afghanistan erupted into one of the most brutal civil wars ever. The fighting lasted almost a decade, throwing the country into a period of political instability, harsh leadership, and extreme danger. Hundreds of thousands of civilians died, and millions relocated to refugee camps. The rest of the world began to believe that violence would always define Afghans. However, deep in the refugee camps of Pakistan, displaced native Afghan children had a dream to unite their country once again with peace. The solution was disguised in the game of cricket. These children began to learn cricket, and persevered against the danger, criticism, and unrest to create the first-ever Afghan national cricket team. With unrivalled access to the team and players during the 2015 Cricket World Cup, Nihar Suthar tells the story of their inspiring journey to change Afghanistan in one of the most under-told, heart-warming sports stories of all time.
*Free copy provided by author for review…
Review: In 1979 war broke out in Afghanistan. The country would face violence and danger for years. But a group of spirited young Afghans living in the refugee camps in Pakistan would unite the country and show the world that Afghanistan stood for more than its violent past, though the game of cricket.
‘The Corridor of Uncertainty’ is an amazing book and well worth the read whether you are interested in the sport of cricket or not. As someone who’s never watched or played the game I wasn’t sure how much I’d enjoy this book but the story told is very much about the people behind the Afghan team and their struggle to get the sport going under such terrible circumstances.
The book begins with an introduction to what ‘the corridor of uncertainty’ is. It’s a cricket term both important and easy to understand and fits the story of Afghanistan’s cricket team so well. The book then tells the terrible start of the Afghan civil war. It’s a history I knew a little about but the author’s words tell the tale so well you really get an understanding for what has happened and throughout the book there are moments where I was deeply shocked at some of the violence and brutal truths of what happened.
The story follows the rise of the Afghan cricket team which started in surprising circumstances. It was wonderful to read how the love of the sport all began with some boys playing the game with some makeshift equipment and led into the dangerous situation of starting a national team with the Taliban in power.
I’m surprised how engrossing this book has been to read. Not only is the story a real life tale, which itself is amazing considering all the battles and difficulties the team faced throughout the years, but the book also reads so well. I felt the emotion and was so captured in the way the author wrote certain parts, I wouldn’t be surprised if this biography was turned into a film, it was so exciting to read.
The back of the book has a brief but very easy to understand guide to cricket for those of us who have no clue how the game works. It’s important to read this section first if you plan to read the book as certain terminology can be lost on you if you don’t. The author explains the rules so well that I understood all the terms and could even get excited about the game as I read various details in the team’s story.
The centre of the book has some lovely glossy photos, from images of the refugee camps to the Afghan team playing in various locations past and more present.
Though I’d say anyone, teen or adult can read this book there are some shocking descriptions of some of the violence particularly under Taliban rule and while it’s nothing really graphic, as shocking as some things you’d hear in the news, I’d say this is best for slightly older teens and adults to read.
I’d really recommend this book to anyone. It’s not just a story about a cricket team, it’s about the group’s struggle against all the violence and dangers of war and then Taliban rule. It’s a truly inspiring read and definitely a tale that needs to be heard.
-Review first appeared online April 2017 – now republished here.
Are you interested in cricket? What sports or biographies do you recommend? Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂