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Friday, 4 March 2022

Rod Marsh, the former Australian Wicket keeper Passes Away

Rod Marsh, the former Australia wicketkeeper, died last week in an Adelaide hospital after having a heart attack in Queensland. He was hospitalised last week after going into cardiac arrest. Marsh, an aggressive left-handed batsman and one of Test cricket's best wicketkeepers, played 96 Tests for Australia between 1970 and 1984, amassing 3633 runs, featuring three hundreds. Marsh owned the world record for maximum Test dismissals (355) at the time of his retirement. During an epic combination with fast bowler Dennis Lillee, it included the classic "c Marsh b Lillee" entry in a scorebook, which has been replicated a record 95 occasions in Test cricket. Marsh also played in 92 One-Day Internationals, scoring 1225 runs at 20.08 and dismissing 124 batsmen. Marsh earned his first-class debut for Western Australia in the 1968-69 campaign and ended up playing 257 first-class matches for the Western Australians, amassing 11,067 runs at 31.17 and achieving 869 dismissals.

Marsh's collaboration with famed fast bowler Dennis Lillee, famed for his athletic keeping, is the most prolific bowler-wicketkeeper alliance in Test history, with 'caught Marsh, bowled Lillee' being recorded 95 times - a record to this day.

After retiring and becoming a selector, Marsh stepped on to lead Australia's selection committee from 2014 to 2016. Marsh is a part of the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame, Sport Australia's Hall of Fame, and the International Cricket Council's Hall of Fame, and he was awarded the Order of the British Empire for his contributions to cricket in 1981.


His children Paul, Dan, and Jamie, as well as his wife Ros, survive him.

"This is a terrible day for Australian cricket and all those who loved and revered Rod Marsh," Cricket Australia chairman Dr Lachlan Henderson remarked. "Caught Marsh, bowled Lillee' has iconic importance in our game, and Rod will be regarded for the manner he played the game and the joy he brought to audiences as a member of several great Australian sides."

Rod was a monumental force in Australian cricket, serving the country for for 50 years, from his debut in the 1970/71 Ashes series to his period as National Selector, during which time many of the current batch of Australian men's cricketers came into direct touch with him. He was fantastic to work with since he not only knew the game thoroughly and out, but he also had a way of putting you at ease.

He was renowned as a bold and tough batsman, but over the course of a decade, his dashing batting and skill behind the stumps elevated him to one of the sport's all-time greats, not just through Australia, but worldwide. Marsh was also a left-handed hitter who became the first Australian wicketkeeper to achieve a century in a Test match. During his career, which was cut short by World Series Cricket for two years, he scored three Test hundreds.

While Marsh's on-field heroics were legendary, he was also a keen observer of the game and a sought-after coach and talent scout around the globe. Marsh was the inaugural head of an ICC world coaching academy in Dubai, and he commanded Cricket Australia's academy before moving to England to do the same.

He has also worked as a commentator and, in 2014, was appointed as Australia's chairman of selectors, a role he occupied for two years. As a gesture of respect for Marsh, Australia's Test players are set to wear black armbands when the first Test against Pakistan begins later Friday in Rawalpindi.

The Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) president Shane Watson and chair Greg Dyer issued a joint statement saying, "Rod's service, or more precisely, his remarkable link, can be traced back through all generations of players before and after his own, all the way to the current group. They will all be devastated by his death. Rod's impact on cricket is immeasurable."