Grahame Lloyd con Howzat? The Six Sixes Ball Mystery (English Edition)
When Garry Sobers hit Malcolm Nash for an historic six sixes off one over at Swansea in 1968, cricket’s Everest was finally conquered.
It was a record that would never be broken; equalled three times since but never beaten because, in cricket, it’s just not cricket; it’s simply not possible: you can’t get better than six of the best.
History was made again 38 years later when the ball supposedly smashed around St Helen’s by the then Nottinghamshire and West Indian captain was sold for a world record £26,400 at Christie’s in London…except that, as Grahame Lloyd suggested in his book, Six of the Best: Cricket’s Most Famous Over, it couldn’t possibly have been the right one because it was the wrong make. The actual ball was manufactured by Stuart Surridge and BBC TV footage confirms Nash's assertion that he bowled a single ball to Sobers – not three as claimed by Christie’s.
The Duke ball then disappeared for nearly six years before turning up at another auction at Bonhams in Chester in the summer of 2012. After persuading the auctioneers to withdraw the ball from a sporting memorabilia sale, Lloyd immediately launched Operation Howzat? – a one-man quest for the truth about a key component of one of sport’s most iconic moments.
In Howzat? The Six Sixes Ball Mystery, Lloyd traces the ball’s journey from England to India via Nottingham, London, New Delhi, Faridabad, Chester and back to Faridabad. Along the way, he uncovers startling new evidence which sheds fresh light on the ball’s vexing verification and its subsequent controversial sale.
During his 18-month investigation, Lloyd encounters a cast of colourful characters – including an art impresario and a solar energy expert in India, a London antiquarian book dealer and a cricket legend in the West Indies - as well as two shy and retiring former Christie’s specialists.
As the dramatic tale surrounding the disputed Duke ball heads towards its denouement, how will the world’s leading auction house respond to Lloyd’s attempt to unravel the riddle? Howzat? The umpire’s index finger is starting to twitch…