Adventure and Sport

howzat cover visualHowzat? The Six Sixes Ball Mystery is the story of one man’s search for the truth about the controversial sale of the world’s most expensive cricket ball and its journey from Swansea to Nottingham to London to Faridabad via Delhi and Chester.

History was made when Nottinghamshire captain Garry Sobers smashed Glamorgan bowler Malcolm Nash for six successive sixes in one over for the first time in first-class cricket at St Helen’s in 1968. The ball supposedly hit by Sobers was bought by an anonymous overseas buyer for a world record £26,400 at Christie’s in 2006. Doubts about its authenticity were raised before the sale and evidence suggests that the ball was the wrong make – it was a Duke rather than a Stuart Surridge, which Glamorgan exclusively used in 1968 – and, as the BBC Wales TV footage definitively shows, that Nash bowled only one ball in the over – rather than three as claimed in the Christie’s lot notes.

The provenance controversy was highlighted in the Nottingham Evening Post when the paper serialised Six of the Best and an article describing the ball as “almost certainly bogus” later appeared in Private Eye. There the matter rested until April 2012 when the disputed Duke ball was consigned to Bonhams in Chester – along with an antique bat signed by WG Grace which was bought at the same Christie’s auction in 2006. Grahame Lloyd has painstakingly pulled the mystery apart and lays it out for us all to see in his entertaining book. “Howzatt, the Six Sixes Ball Mystery”  Check it for yourself!!

walker 1Charlie Walker is a British adventurer and writer. He specialises in long distance, human-powered expeditions and has travelled by bicycle, foot, horse and dugout canoe. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a recipient of the Transglobe Expedition Trust ‘Mad but Marvellous’ grant. His 1st book – “Through Sand & Snow” – is out now!
charlie walker headshot 3Charlie’s longest expedition was a 43,000-mile bicycle journey reaching the furthest cape in each of Europe, Asia and Africa before returning home. On this journey he traversed 60 countries, encountering extremes of weather, remoteness and physical exhaustion during the four and a half years he was away.
In 2017, Charlie completed a world-first 5,200-mile triathlon along the perceived Europe Asia border. This expedition spanned from the midwinter snowfields of the Russian Arctic to the Bosporus in Istanbul. In 2012 Charlie walked 1,000 miles solo across the Gobi desert from China to Mongolia. This feat involved walking over six marathons a week for six weeks whilst carrying enough food and water to survive. Also in 2012 he trekked 600 miles across Central and Northern Mongolia in the company of only a semi-feral pony and a stray dog he found in the forest. In 2014 Charlie descended the Lulua, a little-known tributary of the Congo River, in a leaky dugout canoe. This journey into remote and effectively uncharted territory of DRC was beset by rapids, waterfalls, hippos, crocodiles and finally, shortly after leaving the river, violent bouts of malaria and typhoid fever.

WaerwaysFor a hundred and fifty years, between the plod of packhorse trains and the arrival of the railways, canals were the high-tech water machine driving the industrial revolution. Amazing feats of engineering, they carried the rural into the city and the urban into the countryside, and changed the lives of everyone. And then, just when their purpose was extinguished by modern transport, they were saved from extinction and repurposed as a ‘slow highways’ network, a peaceful and countrywide haven from our too-busy age. Today, there are more boats on the canals than in their Victorian heyday.

Writer and slow adventurer Jasper Winn spent a year exploring Britain’s waterways on foot and by bike, in a kayak and on narrowboats. Along a thousand miles of ‘wet roads and water streets’ he discovered a world of wildlife corridors, underground adventures, the hardware of heritage and history, new boating communities, endurance kayak races and remote towpaths. He shared journeys with some of the last working boat people and met the anglers, walkers, boaters, activists, volunteers and eccentrics who have made the waterways their home. In Britain most of us live within five miles of a canal, and reading this book we will see them in an entirely new light.

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