Australian cricket legend Rod Marsh dies at 74 of heart attack


Australian cricket legend Rod Marsh has died at the age of 74, a week after suffering a serious heart attack.

The former wicketkeeper died in hospital in Adelaide this morning, having been transferred from Bundaberg earlier this week.

Marsh played 96 Test matches for Australia between 1970-1984, retiring with a then world record of 355 dismissals, 95 of which came off the bowling of his great mate, Dennis Lillee.

He was also the first Australian wicketkeeper to make a Test century, reaching the mark against Pakistan in Adelaide in 1972-73, although Bill Lawry had famously declared with Marsh on 92 in just his fourth Test match against England in January, 1971.

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His former captain and long-time friend, Ian Chappell, told Wide World of Sports 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.”

Marsh remained connected to the game after his retirement, including a stint with the Nine commentary team, as well as taking charge of the Australian Cricket Academy.

He subsequently took a role developing young talent in England, and then a similar role with the ICC. Most recently he served as Australia’s chairman of selectors, a post he relinquished in 2016.

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“His tentacles were pretty widespread in cricket, so there were a lot of people that knew him, and even if somebody didn’t necessarily like him, they respected him,” Chappell said.

“He was always happy to have a yarn, he had a good sense of humour, anybody that met him enjoyed his company.”

Renowned for having a sharp cricket brain, Marsh was a source of advice for Chappell throughout his time as Australian captain.

“He was of terrific value,” Chappell explained.