Key Points:

HEDLEY JOHN HOWARTH
Born: December 25, 1943
Died: November 7, 2008

Given that he will be remembered as one of New Zealand's finest spin bowlers, it is perhaps surprising that long-time team-mate Glenn Turner's most vivid memory of Hedley Howarth was of him batting.

In the first test of a five-match series in the West Indies in 1972, Howarth was being peppered by short-pitched bowling from the decidedly sharpish Uton Dowe, while trying to avoid the follow-on.

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Turner was at the other end approaching his double century.

"He got hit a couple of times and I said to him, `You'd better get up the other end, hadn't you?

"We'll try to swap ends'. He said, `Don't you worry about me, while he's trying to hit me he can't get me out'.

"He was one of the few tailenders who had a lot of guts. "He was a good man.

"I liked him, he had a lot of integrity and he was honest."

The sort of stoicism Howarth displayed at Sabina Park that day was evident when Howarth and his wife Louise visited the Turners for three days in Wanaka earlier this year.

Howarth was dying of cancer, but sought no sympathy.

"He was very matter of fact," Turner said.

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"That was typical of him. He showed a lot of guts even in that situation."

It was his left-arm orthodox spinners Howarth will mainly be remembered for.

It has often been said if he hadn't been turned into a stock bowler by captains who needed to tie up an end, his figures would read more spectacularly.

"He was an attacking bowler, he relied a lot on flight," Turner said. "He was exceptional with caught and bowleds, because after delivery he seemed very well-balanced."

Balanced applied to his life, too.

During that trip to Wanaka, Howarth confided in Turner he was glad he played in the era he did.

"Money would never have been his motivation.

"He wasn't that sort of bloke."

Howarth played a total of 30 test matches, taking 86 wickets at an average of 36.95.

He retired from test cricket in March 1977 to concentrate on the family fishing business.