I watched the film/documentary of the book before reading the book, I would definitely do it that way round as the film lets you see the players and their quirks (plus you get to see Taj, an Afghan legend now) and then the book gives more insight.
By now you probably know this is a Cool Runnings type of story - a country with no right to have a cricket team (due to lack of any resources, pitches, structure or organisation) decides, with the help of some strong characters, that it can easily be amongst the top cricketing nations. It is a real inspirational story, with men who have very little playing the sport they love for little recognition.
Highly recommended for anyone with a passing cricket interest, it is very well written and easy to read.
Also advise having it open when watching the film as it has biographies of the players plus scorecards.
Out Of The Ashes had me laughing and crying - sometimes both at the same time. It has it all. It's brilliantly written, with some of the liveliest characters I've ever seen portrayed in non-fiction. It really is a superb story of underdog spirit, struggle with adversity and hope and happiness amid war, terror and poverty. It shows how positive an impact sport can have on society and it shows Afghanistan and its people in a different and much more positive light than that in which they are normally cast. Follow the team from their humble beginnings in Pakistani refugee camps across the border (on donkeyback) into Afghanistan and through their meteoric rise up the rankings, from world cricket's worst team to one of its best. You will not be disappointed.
My daughter sent me this book and with no knowledge of cricket, or Afghanistan I found it a compelling and inspiring read. It shows the tenacity of a people who came from so little but achieved so much.
There often is not much joy that comes out of Afghanistan these days. This book is the exception!
This is a book will appeal to book lovers, arm chair travelers, sports enthusiasts and especially cricketers. The remarkable rise of the Afghan cricket team. A journey that, if it were not true, would cause people to shake their heads in disbelief. A real feel good book.
Afghanistan has an extraordinary ability to get normal people to achieve some remarkable things. Alborne's book is supremely written and brings this wonderful story to life. If Alborne's film of the same title was an achievement, this is a triumph!
I love this book! Such a heatwarming tale of the underdog. I have no idea about cricket but am interested in Afghanistan and thought this book would provide me with some good news about the country.. and it did in great style! I am so pleased I read it
That a war-torn country, with no tradition of playing or even watching cricket, with no proper pitch and virtuallly no equipment or facilities, could within two years be playing as one of only 14 qualifiers in the World Twenty20 finals - it must surely be fiction stretched beyond the believable. But it is fact, and this story of Afghanistan's extraordinary achievement is related with humour by someone who was close to them throughout and alive to the players' individual ambitions and quirks. This book is a must-buy, not only for fans of cricket or Afghanistan, but for anyone wishing to observe how human endeavour can triumph even in the most adverse of circumstances.
Some years ago, while acting as The Times correspondent in Kabul, Tim Albone was asked to file a story for his newspaper on cricket in Afghanistan. Subsequently, Albone - who had become hooked on the war-torn country - decided to make a documentary on the progress of the national team. Over the next two-and-a-half years, periodically embedded with the team, Tim and his two colleagues Leslie Knott and Lucy Martens followed the unlikely progress of Afghanistan's inexperienced cricket team as they tried to realize the outrageous ambition of their charismatic but mercurial former coach Taj Malik by attempting to qualify for the 2011 World Cup. This extraordinary quest took Albone from bare 'pitches' in refugee camps in Peshawar to Kabul, to Jersey, to Tanzania, to Argentina and finally to South Africa where the team just failed to qualify for the recent World Cup on the sub-continent. But Afghanistan have earned the respect of all in world cricket by their desire to succeed against all the odds. The result: Afghanistan was granted One Day International status for 5 years, and the side managed to qualify for the 2010 Twenty20 World Cup in the Caribbean. See the film; read Tim Albone's inspiring book.
I pre ordered this book after seeing the film. I was lucky enough to meet Tim at one of the screenings of his film and ask him about the whole process. He is clearly passionate about this topic and the Afghan team. The film is awesome, a really moving and uplifitng piece. To be able to take time over the story in book form and really appreciate the time that went into it is great. Tim writes very well. He is also really handsome, charming and funny. Buy the book, it is well worth it!
This is a fascinating account of a truly extraordinary story. It's as good an "underdog triumphing" story as you are ever likely to read. It charts the incredible rise of an Afghan cricket team from refugee camps to qualification for the 2020 World Cup. Even if you're not a cricket fan you should read this. It's the other side of war-torn Afghanistan that you don't see on the news. Highly recommended.