History was made when the then Nottinghamshire captain, Garry Sobers, hit Glamorgan’s Malcolm Nash for six sixes at St Helen’s in Swansea in 1968. No batsman had ever scored 36 runs from six successive deliveries in the 150+ year history of the game.
Howzat?, by GRAHAME LLOYD, proves that the ball sold by Christie’s for £26,400 in 2006 is a fake – because it’s the wrong make. The book is basically a whodunnit? – with a ball instead of a body. The story revolves around a cricket ball but, as the former Wisden editor, Matthew Engel, writes in his foreword to the book, it’s “not really about cricket” but “the most important and intriguing subject that any writer can tackle: human nature.”
It’s a disturbing tale about fake news – involving truth, transparency and trust, as well as historical accuracy and reputations. It features blissful ignorance and innocence, even naivety; incompetence, perhaps even negligence; certainly less-than-diligent research and opportunism. The saga has left Nash, who wasn’t contacted by Christie’s about the ball’s sale, frustrated by the auction house’s refusal to acknowledge that the sold ball is a wrong ‘un. The action moves from Swansea to Nottingham to London to New Delhi in a drama boasting a cast of colourful characters – including an Indian art impresario and a London antiquarian book dealer.
Featuring DVD, poetry and song, Fifty Not Out examines an iconic moment, a disturbing tale of fake news and a whodunnit? – but with a ball instead of a body.
Biog: Grahame Lloyd has been a freelance broadcaster and journalist for more than 36 years. He has written eight books, produced several radio and TV documentaries and performed two one-man shows about football and cricket. He is also a published short story writer and poet and a football commentator.