The Wisden Chronology - 1970s

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1977

March Centenary Test between Australia and England is played at Melbourne, to celebrate 100 years of competition: despite Derek Randall's fighting 174, Australia win by 45 runs, exactly duplicating the result of the first match in 1877. May Details emerge of Kerry Packer's breakaway World Series Cricket, featuring 50 of the world's top players: set up after the Australian Board refused Packer's offer for broadcast rights of home Tests. July John Edrich of Surrey scores his 100th first-class century. August Geoff Boycott, who had returned to international cricket after a three-year self-imposed exile with a century in the third Ashes Test, scores another in the fourth at Leeds - his 100th hundred in first-class cricket. England go on to win the Ashes series 3-1, against an Australian side mostly composed of Packer signees. November World Series Cricket starts, on non-recognised grounds in front of indifferent crowds, while makeshift Australian side struggles in Test series against India, eventually winning it 3-2.

1978

January Australia win the women's World Cup in India. February New Zealand beat England in a Test for the first time, after 48 years and 48 matches of trying: at Wellington, Richard Hadlee (six for 26) bowls England out for 64 as they chase 137. England won the second Test to square the series. June Ian Botham scores 108 and takes eight for 34 in win 5-1 against a second-string side lacking all the Packer players.

1979

April The Australian Cricket Board grants TV rights for home Tests to Kerry Packer's Channel Nine, and he disbands World Series Cricket. The players gradually return to the Establishment game. June The second World Cup takes place in England: West Indies retain the title they won at the inaugural event in 1975, beating England by 92 runs in the final. December As part of the Packer "peace", England undertake another tour of Australia, losing all three Tests - but not the Ashes, which the TCCB declined to put at stake - to a full-strength Australian side. The first annual Australian three-way one-day series, this time involving the hosts, England and West Indies, gets under way.

© John Wisden & co.