Vale Rodney Marsh

04/03/22 Category: Featured, News Posted by:

Rodney Marsh MBE (1947 – 2022)

 

 An icon of Australian cricket, Rod “Bacchus” Marsh was an endearing character whose exploits on the field ensured he will forever be remembered as one of the finest wicket-keepers the game has seen.

 

A proud Western-Australian, Marsh was an asset to his home state and later to the Australian side over the course of a 14-year international career behind the stumps. Throughout his career at the top, Marsh played 96 Tests, before retiring in 1984 with a then world-record of 355 dismissals.

 

Fleet-footed and acrobatic, Marsh never let his bowlers down; highlighted by the enduring partnership he shared with Dennis Lillee; “Caught Marsh, bowled Lillee,” appearing 95 times in scorecards of the era.

 

Though renowned for his work with the gloves, Marsh was more than capable with the bat, too. A powerful lower-order batter, he scored twelve First-Class centuries, including three in the Test arena. The first Australian wicket-keeper to make a Test century, he achieved that milestone in the 1977 Centenary Test in Melbourne. A Match that highlighted Marsh’s sportsmanship as well as his skill, he famously recalled England batter, Derek Randall after he was incorrectly adjudged caught behind.

 

Also playing a leading role in World Series Cricket from 1977 – 1979, Marsh joined Kerry Packer to help effect lasting change for cricketers right around the world. An indication of his fervent desire to keep growing the game, Marsh continued to enhance his relationship with cricket following his on-field retirement; working as head of the Australian and England Academies, as well as taking on roles as a selector for both nations.

 

Awarded an MBE for services to cricket in 1981, inducted to the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985 and the ICC Hall of Fame in 2009, Marsh’s contribution to the game is writ large.

 

A legacy that will remain both in Australia and around the world, he will fondly be remembered as one of the cricket’s great characters and players. 

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