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Cricket: A Bridge of Peace
This book was written when the author was 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 focussed 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 Pakistan’s success in India and its failure at the World Cup. As an experienced diplomat and cricket enthusiast, Shaharyar Khan is eminently qualified to analyse 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 the epilogue 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.
Nawabzada Shaharyar Mohammed Khan, a direct descendant of the Bhopal ruling family, was born in 1934. He did his law and acquired his master’s degree from Cambridge University before joining the Pakistan Foreign Service in 1957. He served as Pakistan’s ambassador to Jordan, UK, and France. He reached the top position of his profession as Foreign Secretary, a post he held for four years, from 1990 to 1994, when he retired. He was also UN Secretary General’s Special Representative to Rwanda.
Shaharyar Khan made his school’s first XIs at a young age. At Cambridge he scored a half-century in the freshman’s final. He played regularly for Cambridge University Crusaders during a period when Cambridge had eight established county players in its first XI. After university, Shaharyar played first grade club cricket for MCC, Hornsey, and Wimbledon, a famous club that he captained while serving as a Pakistani diplomat in London. He was elected a playing member of the MCC in 1962. Because of his career in the Foreign Service Shaharyar opted out of playing first class cricket in Pakistan. But he managed to continue playing club cricket during his assignments to cricket-playing countries and when posted to headquarters in Islamabad where he was an active club player.
Shaharyar M. Khan has written two books, The Begums of Bhopals: A Dynasty of Women Rulers in Raj India and The Shallow Graves of Rwanda. Cricket a Bridge of Peace is his third book. He has also edited his mother’s (Princess Abida Sultaan) autobiography Memoirs of a Rebel Princess.