There’s a big summer of cricket coming up, with the World Cup and Ashes series, but before it gets underway in earnest, historians of the game may be drawn to one of the lots at an antiques auction at Fairleigh Court Golf Club on May 1.
Going under the hammer at TV antiques expert Catherine Southon’s latest auction in Selsdon is an autograph book, lovingly assembled in the 1950s with 262 signatures gathered from all 17 of the first-class counties playing at that time, as well as the Test sides of England, Australia and Pakistan.
The signatures include some of the greatest cricketers to have played the game.
The auctioneer notes that the autograph book is “in very good condition and estimated to fetch £300 to £500”.
The autographs were collected as a means of raising extra money for the benefit year of Jim Laker, the Surrey and England spin bowler whose claim to history is as the only cricketer to take 19 wickets in a Test – against Australia at Old Trafford in 1956.
The signatures are mainly signed in ink and Biro under a heading for the relevant team, each team signed on a separate page.
Signatures include Len Hutton, PBH May, the Surrey and England captain whom Richie Benaud once said was “not merely the greatest English batsman to emerge since the war, but the only great one”, Freddie Trueman, Australia’s Keith Miller and Hanif Mohamed of Pakistan.
The auction on May 1 is to be televised as part of a new BBC antiques dealer show.
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