Adelaide: The cricket world lost a legend as former Australia wicketkeeper Rod Marsh passed away on Friday aged 74.
Marsh had suffered a massive heart attack in Queensland last week and was in an induced coma at the Royal Adelaide Hospital until his death.
The Australia great played 96 Tests for his country, scoring three Test centuries and famously claiming a then world record of 355 dismissals for a wicketkeeper behind the stumps.
Marsh was a key part of a formidable combination with feared fast bowler Dennis Lillee and the ‘caught Marsh, bowled Lillee’ dismissal is still the most common way a batter has been dismissed in the history of Test cricket, ICC said.
Following a glittering 14-year international career as a player, Marsh played a major role in grooming young stars such as former Australian captain Ricky Ponting and pace bowler Brett Lee at the Australian Cricket Academy (ACA) in Adelaide.
Marsh was later chosen by England to lead their own academy in the lead-up to the 2005 Ashes series.
Marsh also served as a selector for England, before returning to Australia later in his career to replace John Inverarity as chairman of selectors from 2014 until he departed in 2016.
Marsh was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame in 2009 and ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardice paid tribute to the legendary Australian.
“It is incredibly sad to hear of Rod’s passing,” Allardice told ICC.
“He was a true legend of the game who has been part of international cricket for more than 50 years. His skill and talent with the gloves was exceptional, holding the world record for the number of dismissals at the time of his retirement.
“But his legacy has gone way beyond what he achieved on the field. An ICC Hall of Fame inductee in 2009, he played a significant role in developing young cricketers all around the world, including through his time as the inaugural director of coaching at the ICC Cricket Academy in Dubai, a facility that future generations of players from all countries will continue to benefit from. He will be sorely missed and the thoughts of everyone at the ICC are with his family and friends.”
Australia captain Pat Cummins said ahead of the historic first Test against Pakistan in Rawalpindi on Friday that Marsh’s “incredible” 50 years of service to cricket will never be forgotten.
“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,” Cummins said.
“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.
“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,” added Cummins.
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