For those at the Balconiers Buffet Evening held at St Helen’s on the 22nd June 2018 may recall that Dr Andrew Hignell presented John Williams with the first copy of a new book shortly to be released, well it was released yesterday and is available from The Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians at £18.
It is the only county cricket ground in the United Kingdom where you can both see the sea and feel the breeze coming off the adjoining estuary – the St Helen’s ground in Swansea where some memorable days in cricket history have thrilled the crowds shoe-horned into the tiered enclosures lining the boundaries at one of county cricket’s most idiosyncratic venues.
It was at the Swansea ground where Glamorgan secured a dramatic two-day victory over the 1951 South Africans; where the guile and spin of Johnnie Clay confounded and becalmed Australian batting legend Don Bradman; where during the late 1940s, John Arlott sat in the BBC radio commentary box, alongside Swansea’s favourite son, the famed poet Dylan Thomas; where in 1976 West Indian legend Clive Lloyd struck the world’s fastest double-hundred; where Matthew Maynard struck an astonishing hundred on first-class debut in 1985; where Glamorgan defeated the Australians on successive tours in 1964 and 1968; and where – during the latter season – Garry Sobers became the first man in cricket history to hit six sixes in an over.
This book by Andrew Hignell and the late Bob Harragan is the fifth in the highly acclaimed Cricket Witness series and its publication, during the summer of 2018, celebrates the 50th anniversary of Sobers’ feat at the Swansea ground against the occasional spin of Malcolm Nash. Besides recounting all of these feats, and a number of other memorable occasions in cricket history at St Helen’s, this book also traces the creation during the second half of the 19th century of the ground – used by Swansea’s cricket and rugby teams – and its integral place in Welsh sporting history. Lavishly illustrated with many hitherto unpublished photographs, this book will appeal to local historians as well as aficionados of the summer game, besides showing how popular outgrounds and cricket festivals have been in the county cricket calendar.