Melbourne [Australia], March 4 (ANI): Australia Cricket on Friday announced that former wicketkeeper-batter Rod Marsh passed away at the age of 74.
Marsh was in an induced coma and was fighting for his life after he had suffered a major heart attack last week.
“This is a tremendously sad day for Australian cricket and for all those who loved and admired Rod Marsh. Rod will be forever remembered for the way he played the game and the pleasure he brought crowds as a member of some great Australian teams. ‘Caught Marsh, bowled Lillee’ has iconic status in our game,” Cricket Australia chairman Dr Lachlan Henderson said in an official statement.
“Rod also made an enormous contribution to the game by identifying, coaching and mentoring many future stars in his various roles as coach and director at cricket academies in Australia and other cricket playing nations. Our thoughts are with Rod’s wife Ros, his sons Paul, Dan and Jamie and the extended Marsh family, his many friends and teammates with whom he created so many special memories,” he added.
Marsh’s partnership with Australian teammate and fellow West Australian Dennis Lillee is part of cricket legend, the dismissal ‘caught Marsh, bowled Lillee’ featuring on scoreboards across the cricketing world 95 times in Test matches.
Born in the Perth suburb of Armadale, Marsh honed his cricket skills alongside older brother Graham. Both represented WA as juniors before Graham forged a successful career as a professional golfer.
Marsh made his debut for WA in the 1968-69 season and went on to play 257 first-class matches, scoring 11,067 runs at 31.17 and completing 869 dismissals before his retirement in 1984.
“Rod was a colossal figure in Australian cricket who gave close to 50 years of incredible service to Australian cricket, from his debut in the Ashes series of 1970/71, through to his time as National Selector, when many of the current group of Australian men’s players came into close contact with him. He was brilliant to deal with because he knew the game inside-out, but also had a way of dealing with you to put you at your ease,” said Australia men’s captain Pat Cummins.
“I, along with countless other people in Australia, grew up hearing the stories of him as a fearless and tough cricketer, but his swashbuckling batting and his brilliance behind the stumps over more than a decade made him one of the all-time greats of our sport, not just in Australia, but globally. When I think of Rod I think of a generous and larger-than-life character who always had a life-loving, positive and relaxed outlook, and his passing leaves a massive void in the Australian cricket community. My thoughts, and the thoughts of the entire tour party here in Pakistan, are with Rod’s wife Ros and their family at this terrible time,” he added.
For Australia, Marsh played 96 Test matches scoring 3633 runs at 26.51 and completing 355 dismissals, and 92 one-day internationals making 1225 runs at 20.08 with 124 dismissals – a career disrupted for two years by his involvement in World Series Cricket.
Marsh was something of a pioneer, selected to make his debut in the 1970-71 Ashes series largely for his batting at a time when wicketkeeper was usually a specialist position.
Marsh also served as Cricket Australia’s Manager of Elite Coaching Development and as Australia’s Chairman of Selectors.
Marsh received the Order of the British Empire in 1981 for his services to sport and is a member of the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame, Sport Australia Hall of Fame and the ICC Hall of Fame.