Aussie sporting legend dies aged 71
Former Australian cricketer Bruce Yardley has died aged 71 after a battle with cancer.
Yardley was Australia's first-choice spinner in the 1980s and was also a competent batsman, who was the International Cricketer of the Year in the 1981–82 season.
The West Australian played 33 Tests for Australia and claimed 126 wickets at an average of 31.63.
Initially a medium pace bowler, Yardley later took up off-spin bowling, becoming Australia's first-choice spinner in the 1980s.
After his Australian cricket career, he turned to coaching Sri Lanka and had a big influence on Sri Lankan champion Muttiah Muralitharan and was instrumental in the evolution of Mura’s devastating ‘Doosra’ delivery.
Former teammate and Aussie cricket legend Geoff Marsh said Yardley was a great bloke to have around.
"I was only very young when he was playing, but he was always one of those guys who had the ability to settle everyone down in the changeroom in a pressure situation," he said.
"He was very funny man. He had a real passion for the game of cricket, a real love for cricket … I can't speak highly enough of the guy."
Yardley was a WACA Life Member in 2004, and in 2012 was inducted into Western Australia's Cricket Gallery of Greats.
"He was a brilliant cricketer for both WA and Australia, and gave a lot back to the game after his playing years," said WACA chief executive Christina Matthews.
"Bruce was man always full of fun, laughter and made people around him happy.
"On behalf of everyone at the WACA and the WA cricket community we send our deepest sympathy to the Yardley family."