Rod Marsh Dies at 74
Photo: The Times

Rod Marsh, a former Australia wicketkeeper and England selector, died at the age of 74. Marsh had been in critical condition since getting unwell last week in Bundaberg, Queensland, before passing suddenly on Friday morning in Adelaide.

Both Australia and England will wear black armbands at Saturday’s Women’s World Cup opener in Hamilton, and a moment of mourning will be held before the game in honor of Marsh. After 96 Test appearances and 92 white-ball appearances for Australia, Marsh concluded his career with 355 dismissals, a record at the time and currently third on Australia’s all-time list.

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He became the first Australian wicketkeeper to score a Test century during the 1977 Centenary Test against England. Following his retirement, he worked in commentary and then as a coach at the Australian National Academy. He joined the England set-up as an Academy coach in 2001 and then as a selector from 2003 to 2005.

In one of several tributes to Marsh, Australian cricket captain Pat Cummins recounted how the famous keeper inspired him as a kid. Marsh was characterized as “one of the greatest cricketers in the history of the game,” by Sir Ian Botham, and former Australia player Shane Watson praised Marsh’s influence on his own career.

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Shane Warne said, “Sad to hear the news that Rod Marsh has passed. He was a legend of our great game & inspiration to so many young boys & girls. Rod cared deeply about cricket & gave so much-especially to Australia & England players. Sending lots & lots of love to Ros & the family. RIP mate”

Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting mourned the passing of a “great,”. His experiences in the England Academy under Marsh were among the best of his career.

He said, “Devastated, we have lost a legend. Rod Marsh was a great player, a great coach, and one of the best people I have ever met. My thoughts are with Ros, Paul, Dan, and Jamie.”

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Australia’s current captain Pat Cummins said, “I, along with countless other people in Australia, grew up hearing the stories of him as a fearless and tough cricketer”

Marsh finished his Test career with 3,633 runs, 343 catches. He had 12 stumpings in a match against Pakistan in Sydney in January 1984. From 1970 to 1984, he made 355 dismissals in 96 Test outings for Australia. It was a world record at the time of his retirement.

He also played 92 one-day internationals and was the head of selectors for Australia’s men’s team until 2016. Marsh is Australia’s all-time dismissal leader, with 416 dismissals to Adam Gilchrist’s 416 and Ian Healy’s 395. Marsh is an “absolute icon” of the sport.

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