Australian cricket, legend Rod Marsh dies after suffering a heart attack

Australian cricket legend, Rod Marsh has died at the age of 74 after he suffered a major heart attack.

Marsh was rushed to hospital last Thursday after he suffered a heart attack while visiting Bundaberg in Queensland for a cricket charity event.

He was placed in an induced coma and died on Friday morning March 4, several days after he was airlifted to an Adelaide hospital.

The legendary wicketkeeper played 96 Tests for Australia and went on to serve as a selector for the national team.

Marsh scored 3,633 runs and took 355 dismissals during his illustrious career between 1970 and 1984 and was the first Australian wicketkeeper to score a Test century in 1972-73.

He went on to score another two centuries and racked up 16 half-centuries for his country. He was inducted into Cricket Australia’s Hall of Fame in 2005.

His partnership with fast bowler Dennis Lillee is still regarded as one of the world’s best bowler-wicketkeeper combinations of all time. The duo claimed 95 dismissals, which is still a Test cricket world record to this day.

In 1977, he was one of a host of Test players who defected to be part of Kerry Packer’s breakaway World Series Cricket. Marsh also had a reluctant involvement in Australia’s underarm bowling controversy in a one-day international against New Zealand in 1981.

Cricket greats have been rocked by the sad news.

‘I think it’s taken everyone by surprise, 74 years young,’ former Test bowler Brett Lee told Perth radio station SEN Mornings.

‘The guy played 96 Test matches … he is an absolute legend of the game, a legend of a bloke, a typical Aussie that played his cricket hard and enjoyed a beer.

‘I got to know Rod extremely well down at the cricket academy in 1994/95, he was just a terrific guy.’

Other cricket greats took to social media to express their heartbreak.

‘Sad day with the passing of the great Rod Marsh. His saying, ‘cricket is a simple game made complicated’ still resonates with me. Rod will be missed, thoughts are with his family,’ former Test batsman Dave Hussey tweeted.

Mark Waugh added: ‘So incredibly sad to hear of the passing of Rod (Bacchus) Marsh, an absolute icon of Australian 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.’

High-profile sports tragics have also paid their respects, including Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

‘As a kid he was my favourite player. He was part of one of the most exciting eras in Australian and world cricket. He will be remembered as one of Australia’s greatest ever Test cricket players,’ he tweeted.

Mark Latham added: ‘We all grew up with the legend of Caught Marsh, Bowled Lillee. Rod Marsh was quintessentially Australian, his character reflecting everything great about our nation.’

Marsh is survived by his wife Ros and sons Dan, Paul, and Jamie.


Categorized as Sport

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