Sport Cricket Former Australian Test spinner Bruce Yardley dies of cancer
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Former Australian Test spinner Bruce Yardley dies of cancer

Bruce Yardley in his heyday at the 1982 Third Test match against England at the Adelaide Oval in Australia. Photo: Getty
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Former Australian Test off-spinner Bruce Yardley has died, aged 71, after  a long illness with cancer.

The West Australian newspaper reported that Yardley died at Kununurra hospital on Wednesday.

He played 33 Tests and seven one-day internationals in a six-year career from 1978 to 1983 that yielded 126 Test wickets at an average of 31.63.

In 1981-82, he famously won the Datsun sports car for International Cricketer of the Year having taken his Test best of 7-98 against the West Indies at Sydney.

Yardley was also a handy batsman, scoring four Test half-centuries including a 74 against the fearsome West Indies pace attack on their home turf in Bridgetown in 1977-78. He averaged just under 20.

Yardley later coached Sri Lanka and helped train Muttiah Muralitharan, who holds the world record for the most wickets in both Test and one-day cricket.

On Twitter former teammates and fans paid tribute to Yardley’s temperament and skills.

-with AAP