May 26, 2012

Sobers' ball not what it seems?

Andrew McGlashan

A cricket ball that was meant to have been hit for one of Garry Sobers' six sixes in an over at Swansea in 1968 has been removed from an auction over claims it is not genuine.

Journalist and author Grahame Lloyd gave evidence to the auctioneers, Bonhams, which raised doubts over the legitimacy of the ball in question. When it was previously sold at Christie's in 2006 it fetched £26,400.

It was sold by Josie Miller, who was the Nottinghamshire Supporters' Association secretary for 12 years, and she has no doubts over the ball's claims.

"It was the genuine ball. End of story," she told the Nottingham Post. "And Garry Sobers himself signed a letter to that effect, he saw the ball and agreed it was the genuine thing.

"Garry had no problem with me having the ball. These accusations are a mark against my character."

However, one person who also doubts whether the ball is genuine is none other than the bowler involved, Malcolm Nash, saying that the brand - the one up for auction is a Duke - is wrong. "We used Stuart Surridge balls and we used them in that game; the answer is simple."

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Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Keywords: Offbeat

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