In 1978 the Richmond player and Victorian Captain Graham Yallop became Australia’s 35th Test Captain. Graham worked through the system by playing for Richmond in the Dowling Shield and in the club’s lower level teams during the late 1960s. Thus, he showed the cricket world that hard work, constant practice plus natural talent are the requirements that take young players from the grass roots right to the top.
A Richmond Annual Report from those years suggested that the young and promising Graham Yallop was “A left arm medium pace bowler who could bat a bit”. The knowledgeable people at Richmond soon revised that report to read, “he is a fantastic left hand bat who can bowl a bit.”
He made his senior debut for Richmond in 1970-71 and in December 1972 played the first of the 87 games he was to experience for Victoria in the First Class arena. His 6815 First Class runs for the state places him as Victoria’s seventh highest run getter of all time. Of the 20 centuries he hit for Victoria, two were doubles and who can forget the wonderful batting display he gave by scoring 268 for Australia against Pakistan during the Melbourne Test of December 1983.
Graham went on to achieve team leadership in the three major playing areas of his great career. He captained Victoria from 1977-78 to 1982-83, doing so before taking the reins with Richmond in 1978, and then he achieved the highest cricketing honour in the land by leading the National Team in 7 Tests against England and Pakistan in 1978-79.
For Richmond he played 89 games over 13 seasons, scoring 3150 runs with 8 centuries and 24 fifties. He won one Batting Award and one Club Championship, the centuries he scored in both Premierships won by Richmond during his time at the club showed how he thrived on the big occasions.
When he made his Test debut for Australia in 1976 he became the 275th player to achieve that honour and Richmond’s 9th. He played 39 Tests, scored 2756 runs with 8 centuries and 9 fifties; he also represented Australia in 30 One Day Internationals, four of those games as captain.
In 1979 Graham was awarded Life Membership of the Richmond Cricket Club, he was selected in the club’s Team of the Century and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.