Cricket

SACA mourns the loss of a true great

SACA mourns the loss of a true great

South Australian cricket is mourning the loss of Rod Marsh, who died peacefully this morning aged 74. One of Australia’s finest wicketkeepers, Rod was loved, respected and admired by all for his wonderful contribution to our world game, both on and off the pitch.

Affectionately known as Bacchus, Rod has won the admiration of teammates and rivals alike. He was known for his unwavering integrity and competitiveness, a style forged in the heat of backyard cricket against his older brother Graham at their home in Armadale, WA.

Playing his first competitive game at the age of eight, Rod found a calling behind the stumps, but was first recognized for his sublime talent with the bat. Named captain of the state schoolboys team at 13, Rod made his debut for West Perth’s first XI, followed by a top-class selection for Western Australia against a touring West Indies side in 1968.

Rod worked hard to gain recognition with both bat and glove and was named a special talent, quickly rewarded with a debut match with Ashes Test in 1970.

Between 1970 and 1984, Rod’s name graced 96 Test Match and 92 One Day International scorecards, with a total of 4,858 dutifully recorded runs and a remarkable 479 counted dismissals. Able to fly in pursuit of a ball trying to evade capture following an encounter with a batter’s blade, Rod never passed up a chance.

At the time of his retirement, Rod’s 355 dismissals made him the most prolific wicketkeeper in the game’s history, an astonishing achievement revealing Rod’s trademark: dedication to hard work and perseverance.

95 of those Test dismissals are shared with another game great, Dennis Lillee. Two great friends from Western Australia who never failed to relish every opportunity to take to the field together. The line “grabbed Marsh, shoved Lillee” echoes through every hall of Australian sports history.

Rod’s contribution to cricket goes far beyond his remarkable exploits on the field. After taking off the gloves for the last time, Rod began a new chapter that would take him around the world as a coach, administrator, commentator and champion of the game.

The careers of many of Australia’s greatest cricketers were shaped by Rod Marsh. Ricky Ponting, Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie were all mentored by Rod when he was in charge of the Australian Cricket Academy in Adelaide, a role he played brilliantly for over a decade.

Foe became friends in 2001 when England came calling, installing Rod as director of the ECB National Academy. In this role, Rod oversaw England’s rise to a strong side that not only challenged, but defeated Australia in the 2005 Ashes, their first triumph in the storied rivalry for 16 years.

Most recently, Rod served as a member of the SACA Board of Directors from 2018-2021. South Australian cricket, served with its frankness and its brilliant trademark. sense of humor.

The recipient of numerous honours, Rod was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1981 and inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985. Rod was also inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame in 2005 and the International Cricket Council’s Lobby. fame in 2009.

SACA President Andrew Sinclair said:

“It is with extremely heavy hearts that SACA sends its deepest condolences to Ros and the Marsh family.

“Rod is one of the greatest to play the game, not just because he was so wonderfully talented, but because he was a great person.

“A much-loved member of the South Australian cricketing community, Rod inspired all who had the chance to meet him or watch him play. For a generation of Australians, Rod embodied the spirit of cricket on the world stage.

“Rod’s incredible accomplishments on the pitch will be remembered and his deep legacy as a coach and administrator will live on.

“Rod drew people to him, but not on purpose. He got under your skin in an utterly endearing way. He didn’t mean it – but he showed us how to live.

“In the parlance of cricket he was the walking spirit of cricket. A man of the utmost honesty and integrity. He mixed that spirit with a verve for life (and a South Australian red) that produced an excellent and rare Australian blend.

“Rodney William Marsh – our glasses are held aloft, in tribute to your life. An incomparable sleeve that is remembered with love.