Yardley began his career as a fast bowler in Western Australia but shifted to spin. His first call-up for the Australian Test team was in the summer of 1977-78 during the World Series Cricket split that spirited away a host of Australian players to Kerry Packer's breakaway competition.
While he took time to find his groove and place as a bowler, he smashed a 29-ball half-century against the mighty West Indian attack in Barbados in 1978, apart from being pulled up for throwing on a tour match against Jamaica. He finished his Test career with four half-centuries and a top-score of 74.
David Warner eclipsed the record for Australia's quickest Test half-century after 38 years in January 2017.
Between 1978 and 1983, Yardley played 33 Tests and seven one-day internationals for Australia alongside enjoying a long career in a successful era at Western Australia. He took 126 Test wickets overall.
The highlight of Yardley’s Test career was undoubtedly the 10-wicket haul against the West Indies at Sydney in 1982. He finished with 7-98 in the second innings.
Yardley, who took 344 wickets in 105 first-class matches, became Sri Lanka's coach in the late 1990s.
The off-spinner fell out of favour with the selectors in 1983 despite his performances against Sri Lanka and retired in 1985, before returning for Western Australia for 1989/90 season.
After that he coached the Midland Guildford in Perth club cricket, before going further away from the comforts of home and joining Sri Lanka as their national coach from 1996 to 1998.
Yardley, unlike many Australians previously, was a big fan of the legendary Muttiah Muralitharan and a defender of his bowling action.
First Published: March 27, 2019, 11:58 AM IST