FIFTY years ago, Garry Sobers, now Sir Garfield Sobers, made history by being the first batsman in first class cricket to make 36 runs off a single over, smashing the final ball right out of the ground.

This record-breaking feat took place at St Helens, Swansea on Saturday, August 31 1968, when the unfortunate bowler, Malcom Nash of Glamorgan faced the might of the Nottinghamshire all-rounder.

Today the tale of what happened after the match remains a mystery. The big questions are: what happened to the battered ball? And was the ball sold by Christie’s in 2006, for £26,400 the real deal?

Freelance broadcaster and journalist Grahame Lloyd has investigated the controversial sale and his 2013 book, Howzat? The Six Sixes Ball Mystery, proves that the Duke & Son cricket ball sold at auction was a wrong ‘un – because it was the wrong make.

The actual ball used in the over was manufactured by Stuart Surridge and BBC television  footage confirms Nash’s assertion that it was the only one he bowled, not the last of three, as claimed by Christie’s, during the county championship match.

Glamorgan’s former bowler, Malcom Nash said: "I used the same ball for all six deliveries; it was charred, scarred and scuffed but never changed. Christie’s have never bothered to ask me about the ball I bowled and how many balls were used in the over."

Grahame Lloyd said: "I unequivocally support Malcolm Nash’s contention that the ball isn’t genuine.  I’ve tried to uncover the truth about the sale but with half the people involved refusing to discuss it, my search hasn’t been easy.

!I think it’s best to leave it to the readers of the book to make up their own minds about the controversy."

Whether you love cricket or just a good mystery, Grahame’s book tells the full story and you can meet the man himself at Evesham Rowing Club on Tuesday, August 28, at 7.30pm as part of Evesham Festival of Words fringe festival.

Tickets, at £5 each, are available at eveshamfestival, the Almonry or by calling 07871 285606.