Former Glamorgan captain Malcolm Nash, best known for being slammed for six sixes in an over by Gary Sobers, has died at the age of 74.
Reports said that Nash had collapsed while attending a dinner at Lord’s in London on Tuesday night, and died in a city hospital overnight.
Nash played 17 seasons of first-class cricket, from 1966 to 1983, turning out in 336 matches in which he picked up 993 wickets – 991 of them for Glamorgan – at an average of 25.87 with his left-arm medium-pace bowling. He scored 7129 runs in 469 innings with two centuries and 25 half-centuries. He also played 271 List A matches between 1967 and 1985, picking up 324 wickets at 21.27.
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In a note in the Wisden Cricket Monthly following Nash’s retirement from first-class cricket, John Arlott wrote: “Malcolm Nash was pre-eminently a highly skillful manipulator of medium-pace seam bowling. A thoughtful and sensitive cricketer, he, too, helped out as captain for a couple of difficult seasons, though from a sense of duty rather than real enthusiasm for the post. It appealed to his astute cricket brain but not to his essentially amiable personality. He was never a bowler to settle for the slavishly defensive; but sought to attack and to outwit opposing batsmen. He is, as he ruefully accepts, best known for being hit for six sixes in a six-ball over by Garfield Sobers in 1968; and secondly for five sixes and a four, by Frank Hayes of Lancashire. It is less often remembered that he himself once hit four consecutive balls from Dennis Breakwell of Somerset for six. He also set what was then a club record of nine sixes in a championship innings, against Gloucestershire at Swansea in 1973. Those memories were some balm for him. In 17 seasons he scored 7129 runs and held 148 catches but, most important, he took 993 wickets without, however, taking a hundred in any season.”
Nash was the first bowler to concede six sixes in an over in representative cricket. In 1968, Nottinghamshire were in St Helen’s in Swansea to face Glamorgan and Nash, then 23 and primarily a seam bowler, tried his hand at left-arm spin to Sobers but it didn’t turn out the way he would have liked at all.
Interestingly, as with most other things in Nash’s impressive career, it has been largely forgotten that he had picked up four of the five wickets to fall in that Nottinghamshire innings before the Sobers carnage.
Glamorgan County Cricket Club, in their tribute to Nash, remembered the cricketer as “one of the finest new ball bowlers from the late 1960s until the early 1980s”. “A man skillful enough with the new ball who was rated by Barry Richards, the legendary Springbok batsman, as one of the most difficult bowlers he faced whilst playing county cricket with Hampshire,” the tribute added.
Born in May 1945 in Abergavenny, Nash made his 2nd XI debut for Glamorgan in 1964 before joining the county’s staff two days later. He made his first-class debut against Cambridge University in 1966 and his Championship debut against Yorkshire the following year.
One of the highlights of his career came in August 1968, when Nash played a key role in Glamorgan beating the touring Australians. Then later, in 1969, when he picked up 71 wickets to finish as the county’s leading wicket-taker in their Championship title run under Tony Lewis’ captaincy. He never played for England, but did get a call-up for a trial in 1976.
“Malcolm was a true Glamorgan legend whose exploits have gone down in club folklore,” club chief executive Hugh Morris, said on the Glamorgan website. “”His name is connected with that of Gary Sobers and St. Helen’s but he was a fantastic cricketer who was an integral part of the club’s history and the side that lifted the County Championship in 1969.
“He was also a larger than life character who always had the best interests of the club at heart and continued to be involved closely with the Club after his retirement. Malcolm will be sorely missed by everyone at Glamorgan and throughout the cricketing world and we extend our deepest sympathies to his friends and family.”