The Taliban Cricket Club: A Novel

Overview

Rukhsana is a spirited young journalist in Afghanistan. She takes care of her ill, widowed mother and her younger brother, but when she is summoned to the infamous Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, their quiet, tenuous way of life is shattered.

There, the malevolent minister, Zorak Wahidi, announces that the Taliban has found a new way to pursue the diplomatic respect it has long been denied: cricket. On the world stage of sports, the Taliban ...

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The Taliban Cricket Club

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Overview

Rukhsana is a spirited young journalist in Afghanistan. She takes care of her ill, widowed mother and her younger brother, but when she is summoned to the infamous Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, their quiet, tenuous way of life is shattered.

There, the malevolent minister, Zorak Wahidi, announces that the Taliban has found a new way to pursue the diplomatic respect it has long been denied: cricket. On the world stage of sports, the Taliban will prove they are a fair and just regime. Rukhsana and several other journalists are to report that a tournament will be held to determine who will play for Afghanistan. Anyone can put together a team. Women are forbidden to play. The winners will travel to Pakistan to train, then go on to represent Afghanistan around the world.

Rukhsana knows this is a shameful, deeply surreal idea. The Taliban will never embrace a game rooted in civility, fairness, and equality. And no one in Afghanistan even knows how to play the game—except Rukhsana.

This could be a way to get her family out of Afghanistan for good, but before she can organize a team, Wahidi demands her hand in marriage. He finds her exciting and infuriating and wants to control her willful nature. The union would be her prison, stripping away what few freedoms she has left. Refusing, however, might mean her death. Her family rallies around her, willing to do anything to protect her, no matter the cost. Then Rukhsana realizes that Wahidi may have given her a way out. With the help of her beloved brother and cousins, she forms her own cricket team and sets about teaching them how to win their freedom—with a bat and a ball.

Inspired by the Taliban's actual and unprecedented promotion of cricket in 2000 in an attempt to gain acceptance in the global community, internationally bestselling author Murari weaves a riveting story of strength, hope, and soaring human triumph that proves no tyranny is ever absolute in the face of love.

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Editorial Reviews

National Geographic Traveler
“An engaging new novel. . . . Murari’s imagined tale of how a desperate group of Afghans seizes this opportunity to seek their freedom offers insights into the dangers, deprivations, passions, and aspirations of everyday Afghan life.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“There is a twist in the tale—and it is a clever one.”
New York Post
“Required reading.”
Deborah Rodriguez
“A beautifully written novel that takes the reader through the shrouded world of one woman whose only crime is being a woman.... I loved this riveting book.”
Vikas Swarup
“A moving, splendidly realized story of courage and grit in modern-day Kabul. I was won over by Murari’s uplifting and vastly entertaining sporting tale, which reaffirms the power of friendship, fellowship, and love in the face of all forms of tyranny.”
Shashi Tharoor
“A lovely, diverting and moving tale of contemporary Kabul, about love, courage, passion, tyranny and cricket. Murari has an uncommon tale to tell, and does so with imagination and empathy.”
Shelf Awareness
“A compelling novel about cricket in war-torn Kabul, narrated by a young woman who refuses to be silenced by the Taliban.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455156917
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/15/2012
  • Format: MP3
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Ships to U.S.and APO/FPO addresses only.

Meet the Author

Timeri N. Murari is an award-winning writer, filmmaker, and playwright who began his career as a journalist in Ontario, Canada. He writes for the Guardian, Sunday Times, and other magazines and newspapers internationally. He has published both fiction and nonfiction, and his bestselling novel, Taj, was translated into nineteen languages. In 2006, he published a memoir, My Temporary Son, exploring the difficulties of adopting a desperately ill orphan. He now lives with his wife in his ancestral home of Chennai, India.

Sneha Mathan was born in India and now lives in Seattle. Her voice-over credits include audiobooks and commercial work for clients such as Microsoft, Boeing, and Habitat for Humanity. She is the recipient of an Audiofile Earphones Award for her audiobook work.

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