The Taliban Cricket Club

talibanThe Taliban Cricket Club
by Timeri N. Murari
2012 / 341 pages
read by Sneha Mathan / 10h 59m
rating:  4

From the front cover and the title this looks like it could be a fluffy little thing, huh?   Well,  trust me – it is.   And worse than that,  it’s a romance!  I got suckered again (It doesn’t happen often.)  I really enjoy lighter fare once in awhile and I don’t mind a bit of  a love story in a tale –  think “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand,”  but The Taliban Cricket Club just doesn’t have the fun and originality of Major P.  –  Except for the setting (Afghanistan – circa 1999) it’s a fairly clichéd plot and the characters are no better, imo, of course.  lol

Set in the times when the Taliban controlled Kabul  (1999 or so) – Rukhsana, a young Afghani journalist,  is getting in trouble with the Taliban for her  (HER!) writing.  She is engaged to be married but it’s an arranged marriage,  not something she wants, and her fiancé leaves for America.  She, her brother and cousins want to escape the oppressive regime.

When the Taliban powers-that-be decide to start up a cricket team for propaganda purposes, (this is true – Wiki link) she has an idea which will help her family escape – but it’s incredibly dangerous.

Then in a brief backstory, we find out how Rukhsana learned cricket at university in India and about Shaheen, the man Rukhsana’s heart-throb who still lives in Delhi.  This is a love story mostly, but complicated by the Taliban’s violence.  She returns to Kabul and the story returns to the opening scenes.

There is a bit of info about Afghan history and the situation of women – but it was only enough to get me doing a bit of research.

Sneha Mathan does a fine job of narrating.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women’s_rights_in_Afghanistan

 Guardian Review:

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