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Rodney Marsh, Australian Cricket great, dies at 74

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

Melbourne: Rod Marsh, an Australian cricket great and the wicketkeeper who formed a prolific wicket-taking partnership with pace bowler Dennis Lillee, has died a week after suffering a heart attack during a fundraising event in Queensland state. He was 74.

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The Sport Australia Hall of Fame on Friday confirmed Marsh, who played 96 test matches for Australia from 1970 to 1984, had died in an Adelaide hospital.

Marsh held a test record of 355 dismissals by a wicketkeeper, including 95 off the bowling of Lillee.

He also played 92 one-day internationals for Australia before retiring from top-flight cricket in February 1984.

He was the first Australian wicketkeeper to score a Test century.

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A left-handed batter, he was the first Australian wicketkeeper to score a century in test cricket, and and finished his career with three.

He later led the national cricket academies in Australia and in England and was the inaugural head of the International Cricket Council’s world coaching academy in Dubai.

In 2014, he was appointed as Australia’s chairman of selectors and held the position for two years.

He was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985.

The hall of fame’s chairman, John Bertrand, said Marsh was tactical, spoke without fear, and spotted the talents of young cricketers.

“Wickets were caught by Marsh and the term caught Marsh, bowled Lillee’ became folklore,” Bertrand said.

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His former captain and long-time friend Ian Chappell told Channel Nine Marsh was respected by all those he played with and against.

“It wasn’t just his playing ability, although that was a big part of it,” Chappell said.

“The thing about Rod was, you knew where you stood with him, he always said what he thought, and you can handle that, because he was up-front.”

In confirming his death, Cricket Tasmania said it was “extremely saddened to learn of the passing of Rod Marsh overnight”.

“Rod is an icon of Australian cricket and his passing signifies a great loss for the game the world over,” it added.

Marsh is survived by wife Roslyn and sons Daniel, Paul and Jamie.

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