This book is, therefore, more than a cricketing journal. It is essentially about the impact of this ennobling sport on the minds of people. In India and Pakistan - as indeed all over South Asia -cricket has assumed an all-consuming hold on people from every walk of life. From the Quetta camel-cart driver to the Chennai professor, from the Lahore shopkeeper to the Bombay housewife, from the Dhaka student to the Colombo hotel waiter, cricket has become an overwhelming passion, its huge energy like incandescent lava flowing down a live volcano, ready to be channeled towards peace and harmony.
This book was written when the author was the manager of the Pakistan cricket team during its tour of India in 1999 and the World Cup in South Africa in 2003. The author has focused on the role of cricket as a bridge of peace within a tortured society-South Africa-and between hostile neighbours-Pakistan and India. It also chronicles the matches on the two tours, drawing cricketing conclusions from Pakistanâ€™s success in India and its failure at the World Cup. As an experienced diplomat and cricket enthusiast, Shaharyar Khan is eminently qualified to analyze the role of cricket in politics and diplomacy, and its moulding influence in public attitudes.
In December 2003, SHAHARYAR KHAN was appointed Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board. During March and April 2004 the momentous series between Pakistan and India took place, and in an epilogue to this book the author chronicles the events of that series. His conclusion now is the same as then, that cricket does act as a bridge of peace.