RIP Bruce Yardley

malcolm

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Former Test spinner Bruce Yardley, one of the most unorthodox and enthusiastic players of his generation, has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 71.

Yardley died at Kununurra hospital this morning.

As ebullient as any player to represent Western Australian and his country, the irrepressible Yardley converted a stuttering start as an occasional State swing bowler into half a decade as the world’s most successful spinner.

Retaining his paceman’s long curving approach to the crease and delivering off-breaks in unorthodox fashion off his middle finger, Yardley claimed 126 wickets in 33 Tests, culminating in his golden summer in 1981-82 when he dismissed 51 Pakistan, West Indies and New Zealand batsmen.

It was a far cry from his sole Sheffield Shield match in the mid 1960s and modest appearances in the early 1970s before he employed a grip he had used in his junior baseball days to generate one of the greatest rebirths in first-class cricket history.

He would play 52 shield matches for WA spread over 25 years, his best season coming in 1980-81 when he claimed 40 wickets.

https://thewest.com.au/sport/cricke...ies-age-71-after-cancer-battle-ng-b881149030z
 

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sandeano

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#5
Sad news. When you're a little kid everyone who plays for Australia is your hero, Bruce Yardley was one of my heroes.
Yeah he was one of mine too. I remember trying to copy his bowling action that appeared so simple yet effective and visually appealing. Superb gully fieldsman and a decent lower-order bat. He also had that quintessential look of an Australian cricketer of the time with the splendid mo and darkly tanned face.

Thanks for he childhood memories, Roo.
 
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One of my favourites growing up, also an outstanding and entertaining commentator. Called the game as he played it, told it as he saw it, with plenty of humour thrown in.
 

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sherb

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Such sad news, Bruce was one of my favourite ever cricketers.

Reinvented himself from being a medium fast bowler to become a successful offie, out of WA no less.

He didn't make the Test side until he was 30 ish, and that was only because of WSC. He was good enough to go on and be part of Australia's full strength side when the "war" was over.

Had a stellar 81-82 season when he took 38 wickets in 6 Tests vs Pakistan and the Windies. All up, he took over 100 Test wickets at just under 4 wickets per Test.

He was no mug with the bat, being rather "inventive" and holding down the no 8 position most of the time in the Test side, averaging just under 20.

Held the record for the quickest 50 by an Australian for many years, when he smashed 74 off a full strength Windies attack in 1978. I'd love to see footage of that, I'd imagine all the runs were scored on the off-side, with Roo often backing away to leg........

And he was a great gully fieldsman, along with being one of the most enthusiastic and uplifting cricketers I've seen on the field.

RIP. :(
 
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worbod

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#15
Yardley played first class cricket in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. It was great to see him flourish at Test level late in his career. In the Melbourne Test against Pakistan in 1981-82, Pakistan declared with eight wickets down and Australia lost by an innings. Yardley had a hand in dismissing all the Pakistanis. He took seven wickets and caught the other batsman off Greg Chappell's bowling.
 

STFU Donnie

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#16
Had a stellar 81-82 season when he took 38 wickets in 6 Tests vs Pakistan and the Windies.
This won him the International Cricketer of the Year award, a Datsun 280ZX. (Pre-rebadging as Nissan!)

And as Malcolm the Romulan (OP) stated, he capped the season off with 13 wickets in NZ, giving him a season total of 51.
 
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#17
He made his Test debut in the deciding 5th test against India in early 1978 during the Packer years when Bob Simpson was Australian captain, then went on that ill-fated tour to the West Indies when West Indies had all their Packer World Series players for the first two tests of that series.

What a mismatch. The only way you could follow that series was reading the pitiful scores the next morning in the newspaper. Australia got bowled out for less than 100 in the first test, and even though Australia were smashed by an innings defeat and by 10 wickets in those matches, it felt like a little victory reading that Yardley had smashed 70 and 40 something in the 2nd Test against the mighty West Indian bowlers.

I think that was the series where Joel Garner reportedly said to him something along the lines of: "By the time I finish with you, you'll be known as Bruce Inchley".

Do remember a season or two later watching a one-day match between SA and WA where the battle was renewed when Joel Garner was playing for SA and he bowled an over of toe-crushing yorkers to Bruce Yardley. Yardley would be trying to step back and give himself room to slash through the offside but Garner was so accurate that every ball was right on the same spot and as he was trying to keep the ball off his stumps Yardley jammed down and edged one over the slips that nearly went for 6 which only made Joel even more angry. The game had to be paused at one point when Yardley hit the toe of his shoe with the end of his bat. The poor bloke was in agony for the rest of his innings but he kept Joel out.
 
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