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The ball, claimed to be that used for the final delivery when Sir Gary Sobers became the first batsman to hit 'six sixes' in a single over in first-class cricket, sold at Christie's South Kensington in 2006, for £22,000 (£26,400 including buyer's premium). Although offered with a certificate signed by Sobers, the authenticity of the ball has since been questioned.

The story of what happened to the famous cherry before and after the auction was the subject of an investigation by journalist Grahame Lloyd, published as his 2013 book Howzat? The Six Sixes Ball Mystery.

Doubts have long centred on the make of the ball sold at auction which, as detailed in Lloyd's account, was not the same as those in use at Glamorgan where the great West Indian cricketer achieved his feat in 1968.

Now, in an attempt to resolve the matter, the bowler who was hit for the historic six sixes, Glamorgan's Malcolm Nash, has written to Christie's chairman Viscount Linley.

Nash maintains that the ball sold at the auction was not the ball he bowled and has asked for a meeting to clear up the authenticity issue.

He was prompted to act after returning to the UK two years ago (following a coaching career in Canada and the US) and by suggestions that he was involved in the sale in some way.

"I am bothered by the fact that at no time has any representative from Christie's contacted me with regard to the validity of the ball," he said. "Since my return to the UK, I have been inundated with interviews and questions regarding the six sixes ball."

Nash has now received a reply from Viscount Linley stating that his letter has been referred to the Christie's legal department.

The auction house also released a statement in regard to the matter: "Christie's takes issues of authenticity very seriously. So when we were contacted in 2013 about the sale of the ball, we looked into the concerns very thoroughly. 

"The ball was consigned to us for sale in 2006, with good provenance and a signed certificate from Sir Garfield Sobers stating 'this signed cricket ball was bowled during the over in which I [Sobers] hit six sixes off Malcolm Nash'.

"We found no evidence or knowledge of any wrongdoing. We appreciate there has been controversy over this ball's origins, but Christie's has no information in its possession to help shed light on it."