Sports: Tributes pour in for Rod Marsh who passes away at 74

Adelaide, March 4 (IANS) Tributes poured in for Australian great Rod Marsh who passed away in an Adelaide hospital on Friday aged 74 after suffering a massive heart-attack last week.

Marsh had suffered a heart-attack in Queensland and was in an induced coma at the Royal Adelaide Hospital until his death.

Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting wrote, “Devastated, we have lost a legend. Rod Marsh was a great player, a great coach and one of the best people I have ever met. My thoughts are with Ros, Paul, Dan and Jamie (Marsh’s family).”

Former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson tweeted, “Rod Marsh not on this planet anymore, I am absolutely shattered. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for Rod and his amazing skill to know how to get the best out of every young cricketer. He just cared!! My love and thoughts go the Ros and the boys. RIP mate.”

Following a glittering 14-year international career as a player, Marsh played a major role in grooming young stars such as Ponting and pace bowler Brett Lee, among others, at the Australian Cricket Academy (ACA) in Adelaide.

Cricket Australia (CA), the country’s governing body for the sport in its condolence message said, “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Rod Marsh. A brilliant wicketkeeper and hard-hitting batter, Rod’s contribution to Australian cricket was outstanding and he will be truly missed. Our thoughts are with his wife Ros, children Paul, Dan and Jamie and his many friends.”

Another former Australian great, pace bowler Damien Fleming, said he was shattered.

“Shattered to hear the passing of the legendary Rod Marsh. Growing up he was an idol hitting 6’s taking catches off DK Lillee. Sung the Aussie song. Coached a generation. Thoughts with Ros, Paul, Dan and Jamie and Marsh family,” wrote Fleming.

The Australian team’s white-ball captain, Araron Finch, tweeted, “Thoughts are with the Marsh family at an incredibly difficult time. Australia has lost a cricketing icon and legend today! Vale Rod Marsh.”

A statement from son Paul Marsh said, “On behalf of my mother Ros and brothers Dan and Jamie, it is with immense sadness that I advise that my father Rod passed away peacefully early this morning. He has been an incredible husband, father and grandfather and we have been so fortunate to have had him in all of our lives.

“We are so grateful for all of the love and support our family has received from so many people over the last week. It has given us strength in the most difficult week of our lives. Details for the funeral will be advised in due course.”

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