Australian cricketer Rod Marsh has died aged 74.
Just a week after suffering a heart attack, tributes have arrived for the former wicketkeeper and England selector.
Marsh had been in critical condition in Bundaberg, Queensland, and died in the South Australian capital of Adelaide on Friday morning local time.
Marsh made 96 Test appearances for Australia and ended his career with a then-record 355 layoffs.
In his international career, which lasted from 1970 to 1984, he played a further 92 games in white ball cricket for his country.
His death was confirmed by Marsh’s son Paul, who said in a statement: “On behalf of my mother Ros and my brothers Dan and Jamie, it is with great sadness that I report that my father Rod passed away peacefully this morning.
“He was an incredible husband, father and grandfather and we have been extremely fortunate to have had him our entire lives.”
Australian cricket captain Pat Cummins led a chorus of tributes to Marsh, calling him a “colossal figure in Australian cricket”.
He said in a statement released by Cricket Australia (CA): “I, along with countless other people in Australia, grew up hearing the stories of him as a fearless and tough cricketer, but his daring batting and brilliance behind the stumps is more than a decade made him one of the greats of our sport, not just in Australia but around the world.
“When I think of Rod I think of a generous and larger than life character who always had a fun-loving, positive and easy-going attitude and his death leaves a huge void in the Australian cricket community.”
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called Marsh a “fierce competitor and a fine athlete”.
He wrote on Twitter: “Very sad to hear of the passing of Rod Marsh. As a kid he was my favorite player.
“He was part of one of the most exciting eras in Australian and world cricket.
“He will be remembered as one of the greatest Australian Test cricketers of all time.
“He was a tough competitor and a good athlete who appreciated what the game stood for.
“Rod Marsh was a proud Western Australian and an absolute Australian legend.
“My deepest sympathy goes out to his wife Ros and their children Paul, Dan and Jamie.”
“EXTREMELY SAD DAY”
The CA chairman Dr. Lachlan Henderson said: “This is an extremely sad day for Australian cricket and for all who loved and admired Rod Marsh.
“Rod will always be remembered for playing the game and bringing joy to viewers as a member of some great Aussie teams. ‘Caught Marsh, bowled Lillee’ has iconic status in our game.
“Rod also made a tremendous contribution to the game by identifying, coaching and mentoring many future stars in his various roles as coach and principal at cricket academies in Australia and other cricketing 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.”
Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which owns Lord’s, said in a statement on Twitter: “MCC is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Honorary Life Member and former World Cricket Committee Member Rod Marsh.
“Our thoughts are with his friends and family.”
Marsh’s last Test was in Sydney in January 1984 against Pakistan, the same match that also eliminated Greg Chappell and Dennis Lillee – with the then-familiar chorus “Caught Marsh, Bowled Lillee”, which marked the 95th and final time on the Scorecard appeared.
Born in November 1947 in the suburbs of Perth, Marsh was the younger brother of Graham Marsh, who became a professional golfer and had 10 victories on the European Tour.
They had both represented Western Australia in schoolboy cricket but Rodney rose through the ranks to make his first-class debut with WA in 1968 against the touring West Indies.
His international career had started unfavorably – he earned the nickname ‘Iron Gloves’ after dropping a string of catches in the 1970/71 Ashes series.
But Marsh had earned a selection for his batting ability and he was the first wicketkeeper to make a century for Australia in 1972 in Adelaide with 118 against Pakistan, while his glove work also improved rapidly.
Overall, he hit 3,633 runs with three centuries and 16 fifties while notching 343 catches and 12 stumps in 96 Tests.
After a stint as a commentator, Marsh became head coach of the Australian Cricket Academy in the 1990s, helping to develop players such as Ricky Ponting, Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee.
But he was lured to England in 2001, first as head of the national academy and then also as England selector from 2003 to 2005 – helping to secure Ashes’ famous 2005 win against the great talent he had nurtured for his home country .
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/4819414/cricket-rod-marsh-dead-tributes/ Australia cricket legend dies aged 74 after heart attack as emotional tributes arrive