It’s the summer of 2005, and Ismail – ‘Smiley’ to his schoolmates – is about to become the youngest-ever member of his elite public school’s First XI cricket team. A star player full of ambition and talent, he sets his sights on immortality – breaking the school batting record and getting his name into Wisden. But at the start of the season, new coach Mr. Eagles takes a particular dislike to him, for reasons Ismail can’t quite put his finger on. Desperate to prove himself, he runs into a patch of poor form at just the wrong time. Bad luck on the pitch leads to issues off it too, and Ismail finds that no one – friends, family, teammates – seems to get what he’s going through.
Set during England’s famous Ashes victory and the events of 7/7, Ismail discovers that cricket might not be able to take care of everything as it once did.