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By way of preparation for the Benson and Hedges World Series Cup, which started on January 9, the New Zealanders spent two and a half weeks in Australia before Christmas, which they had at home. In this time they played two first-class matches and two one-day games. They were thoughtfully captained on their two-part tour by Geoff Howarth and reinforced for the first time for six years by Glenn Turner.
Their WSC matches against Australia, though not those against England, followed the somewhat acrimonious pattern of recent years, with the Australian players, more often than not, being the aggressors. Until he pulled a hamstring Richard Hadlee, both as batsman and bowler, did as much as anyone to enable New Zealand to head the WSC qualifying table. Turner batted well until the finals, John Wright scored quite consistently and Lance Cairns made some dangerous sorties with the bat. With Ewen Chatfield, Cairns and Martin Snedden all bowling steadily, New Zealand acquitted themselves well, until being heavily beaten by Australia in the one-day finals.
Match reports for