Title: The Corridor of Uncertainty
Author: Nihar Suthar
Format: Print copy mailed by author
My rating: 3/5
In 1979, Afghanistan erupted into one of the most brutal civil wars ever. The fighting lasted almost a decade, throwing the country into a period of political instability, harsh leadership, and extreme danger. Hundreds of thousands of civilians died, and millions relocated to refugee camps. The rest of the world began to believe that violence would always define Afghans.
However, deep in the refugee camps of Pakistan, displaced native Afghan children had a dream to unite their country once again with peace. The solution was disguised in the game of cricket. These children began to learn cricket, and persevered against the danger, criticism, and unrest to create the first-ever Afghan national cricket team.
With unrivaled access to the team and players during the 2015 Cricket World Cup, Nihar Suthar tells the story of their inspiring journey to change Afghanistan in one of the most under-told, heart-warming sports stories of all time.
The untold stories are the ones that reel us in, get us to believe in something real and bigger than what we previously have known. I felt that with this story of the Afghan cricket team and the 20 year undertaking for them to succeed and achieve their dreams. As an American, what I knew about Afghanistan and the Middle East stemmed from 9/11 when I was in middle school. This story breaks the mold of pre-conceived notions about the country and its inhabitants. We are able to see people as human and not in a comparison to the negative connotations of what history has unraveled in the country. That is the sheer beauty of international sports – the culture and communication as well as the shared passion and skill regardless (or in spite) of national/financial troubles, being able to set that aside for a commonality.
Beyond the challenges of a country at war, the players of the national cricket team of Afghanistan had their own personal battles to choose when it came to their teammates as well as proving their legitimacy to be named and supported as an official team. They were able to overcome all the challenges and inspire a nation and its youth to aim higher and make something of themselves amidst fighting. The theme of the corridor of uncertainty is a wondrous thought since there is risk associated with either path one takes – both in cricket and in life. We were able to see that in multiple contexts as well as the namesake term during the matches. However, it turned into a repetitive statement within most chapters and seemed forced – the message is clear without the incessant reminders. There is a reality here of dynamics and stages we go through when dreaming big, and I am appreciative of that reminder that we can see change, it just takes passion, perseverance, and time.
Some memorable and relate-able quotes to leave you with:
“It reinterpreted the corridor to mean much more than just an area on a cricket pitch with the trickiest and most menacing delivery. Instead, it defined the term as an entire country torn apart by uncertainty, complication , and extreme danger” (Suthar 16)
“However, balls thrown to the corridor of uncertainty are unpredictable. They are never as straightforward as they appear. Batsmen face surprises as the deliveries spin and curve all over the place. The Afghan players had a lot of surprises coming their way as well. In fact, that was when the bombings in Afghanistan began” (Suthar 103)
Read The Corridor of Uncertainty if you like the themes of:
- Middle East history
- Inspirational stories