There is no more famous phrase in all of Australian cricket, even more so in WA cricket, than “Caught Marsh, bowled Lillee”.
Now, sadly, one half of the iconic duo that combined for more shared wickets than any other pairing in the history of the game has left us, after Armadale’s Rod ‘Bacchus’ Marsh succumbed to a heart attack and died in South Australia on March 4.
He was 74.
While Marsh’s funeral will take place in Adelaide, WA Premier Mark McGowan said the WA Government had offered the Marsh family a State Memorial Service, the first since the death of Polly Farmer in 2019.
Marsh played his first official cricket match at the age of eight for the Armadale Under 16s, and he worked as a teacher at Armadale Senior High School during his early working life.
He started his 96-game test career as a specialist batsman but soon transitioned to full-time wicket-keeper, though his first stint behind the wicket went well enough for him to earn the moniker ‘Iron Gloves’.
He made his debut the same year as the great Dennis Lillee, and throughout their careers the phrase ‘caught Marsh, bowled Lillee’ was uttered 95 times, which still stands as a world record at the elite level.
In total he made 355 dismissals, again a world record, and scored 3,633 test runs and 1,225 one-day runs.
He was the Australian Chairman of Selectors between 2014 and 2016, and was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame in 2005.
He is survived by his wife Roselyn and his sons Dan, Paul and Jamie.