Nobody in Afghanistan knows how to play cricket, but the Taliban believes participation in the game will earn it diplomatic respect, so a tournament is launched.
Anyone can enter and the winner will travel to Pakistan and represent the country in world competition. Rukhsana learned to play cricket while overseas, but women are forbidden from playing. She adopts a disguise in order to teach her brother and cousins so that they can escape to a new life. The novel’s premise seems comical but was inspired by fact: the Taliban promoted cricket in 2000. The story is vivid and believable, exposing brutality, repression, menace and distrust. This is an entertaining and all-consuming novel which will leave readers moved by its insight and compassion for a people often misunderstood.