Kevin Telfer in The Telegraph:
Pakistani cricket: what a subject. What players – and what characters: the regal Imran, the street-fighter Javed, the mesmerising Qadir. Controversy and drama seems to surround the Pakistani Test team wherever and whenever it plays, be it in terms of spot-fixing, umpires, ball-tampering, on-field confrontations, sporting brilliance or terrorism.
Of all the world’s cricket teams, they are the least antiseptic and the most mercurial. Such, at least, is the conventional wisdom. But this encyclopedic work by Peter Oborne avoids these tabloid stereotypes – both in terms of the country’s most famous individuals who are the stuff of cricketing legend – as well as Pakistani cricket in general. It makes for a rich, fascinating and sometimes surprising read. Since its birth in 1947, the country of Pakistan has had an exceptionally turbulent and violent history. This forms the backdrop to Oborne’s carefully researched and meticulously constructed narrative, starting with the bloodshed of partition, all the way through to a modern Pakistan that is considered so unsafe following the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team and umpires in Lahore in 2009 that the national side must play its matches in exile.