Marsh played 96 Tests and claimed what was then a world record 355 dismissals
Marsh suffered a heart attack in Queensland last Thursday and has died in an Adelaide hospital.
On retirement, he held Test cricket’s then world record for most wicketkeeping dismissals, 355 which included the iconic “c Marsh b Lillee” entry in a scorebook what remains a record 95 times in Test cricket during what became a legendary pairing with fast bowler Dennis Lillee.
While Marsh’s on-field exploits were legendary, the deep thinker of the game was also renowned worldwide as a coach and talent-spotter. Marsh headed Australia’s cricket academy before filling the same role in England and was the inaugural head of an International Cricket Council world coaching academy in Dubai.
He also served as commentator and became Australia’s chairman of selectors in 2014, a position he held for two years.
So incredibly sad to hear of the passing of Rod (Bacchus)Marsh an absolute icon of Aust cricket. Had the pleasure of working with Rod for a number of years as a selector and you wouldn’t meet a more honest, down to earth, kind hearted person. RIP
— Mark Waugh (@juniorwaugh349) March 3, 2022
Australia’s Test players are expected to wear black arm-bands when the first Test against Pakistan starts later Friday in Rawalpindi, as a mark of respect for the champion wicketkeeper.
“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,” Australia men’s Test captain Pat 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.”
Rod Marsh not on this planet anymore, I am absolutely shattered. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for Rod and his amazing skill to know how to get the best out of every young cricketer. He just cared!! My love and thoughts go the Ros and the boys. RIP mate.
— Shane Watson (@ShaneRWatson33) March 4, 2022
A joint statement by Australian Cricketers’ Association president Shane Watson and chair Greg Dyer said: “In a very real way, Rod’s contribution and more accurately, his wonderful connection, reach through all generations of players before and after his own, all the way to the present group. His loss will be deeply felt by them all. Rod’s legacy to cricket is profound. He loved cricket, and cricket loved him back in spades.”
Cricket Australia chair Dr Lachlan Henderson said: “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.
“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.”
Tributes from Australia and around the world have flooded social media on news of the death of Marsh, who became a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1982 and was elected to the Sport Australia Hall Of Fame in 1985 and the Cricket Hall Of Fame in 2005.
Marsh leaves his wife Ros and sons Dan, who captained Tasmania to their first Sheffield Shield win, Paul, a former CEO of the Australian Cricketers’ Association, and Jamie.