County stalwart Jim Yardley dies
Former Worcestershire and Northamptonshire middle-order batsman Jim Yardley has died in Canada. He was 64.
In 260 first-class matches spanning 16 seasons he scored 8287 runs at 25.81 with five hundreds, and also held 232 catches mainly at slip.
"He was not a prepossessing player, but he had guts, immense application, and an infinite capacity for scoring runs to and through third man," wrote John Arlott. "A good sense of humour and a dedication the game enabled him to enjoy it and play it more effectively than men superficially greater gifts."
Yardley made his county debut in 1967 and became a regular in the Worcestershire side midway through 1968 despite failing to pass fifty all season. He only showed glimpses of his form in 1969 although again held down a regular place, but he repaid the county's faith in 1970 with 762 runs at 40.
In 1971 he passed 1000 runs for the only time in his career as well as hitting this maiden hundred when he made an unbeaten 104 against the touring Indians. He was capped in 1972 despite a wretched summer, slightly alleviated by some good limited-over performances.
He was a key member of Worcestershire's Championship-winning team in 1974 but after another ordinary summer in 1975 he was released and moved to Northamptonshire.
In seven seasons at Northamptonshire his form rarely rose above the ordinary - he managed only one hundred in 107 first-class matches - but he was again able to hold down a regular place. However, by 1982 he was out of favour and after a season in the 2nd XI he retired.
Although his one-day form was also mediocre - his highest score in 205 innings was 75 - he played in four Lord's finals, winning once, the 1980 Benson and Hedges Cup.
He emigrated to Canada in 2002.