Former Australia wicketkeeper Rod Marsh dies aged 74

Marsh, who played 96 Tests and 92 one-day internationals in the 1970s and 1980s, was 74 and passed away in Adelaide after having the heart attack while on his way to a charity event in Bundaberg in Queensland on Feb. 24.

Marsh(L) retired in 1984 with a then-world record tally of 355 dismissals.   -  AP

Former Australia wicketkeeper Rod Marsh has died eight days after suffering a heart attack, Cricket Australia confirmed on Friday.

Marsh, who played 96 Tests and 92 one-day internationals in the 1970s and 1980s, was 74 and passed away in Adelaide after having the heart attack while on his way to a charity event in Bundaberg in Queensland on Feb. 24.

"This is a tremendously sad day for Australian cricket and for all those who loved and admired Rod Marsh," said Cricket Australia chairman Lachlan Henderson.

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"Rod will be forever remembered for the way he played the game and the pleasure he brought crowds as a member of some great Australian teams.

"Rod also made an enormous contribution to the game by identifying, coaching and mentoring many future stars in his various roles as coach and director at cricket academies in Australia and other cricket-playing nations."

"I'm shattered, absolutely stunned. I thought he was invincible. He was my absolute idol and hero and inspiration as to why I pursued what I did. The impact he had on my life is profound." said Adam Gilchrist.

Australian veteran Greg Chappel said,  "It's a sad day for cricket. For all of us from that group, it was obviously a successful era. There were a lot of good guys and Rod was the spiritual leader of the group."

Regarded as one of Australia's finest wicketkeepers, Marsh retired in 1984 with a then-world record tally of 355 dismissals.

He is fourth on the all-time dismissals list behind South Africa's Mark Boucher (555) and Australians Adam Gilchrist (416) and Ian Healy (395).

Marsh made his Test debut against England in November 1970 and, during a career that lasted more than 13 years, scored 3,633 Test runs.

The Western Australian became a cricketing icon, famously combining with fast bowler Dennis Lillee to take 95 wickets during the pair's career together.

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Marsh played his final Test against Pakistan in January 1984 and later became a national selector.

He was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame in 2009 before stepping away from the game in 2016.

"(Rod) was brilliant to deal with because he knew the game inside-out, but also had a way of dealing with you to put you at your ease," said current Australia captain Pat Cummins.

"When I think of Rod I think of a generous and larger-than-life character who always had a life-loving, positive and relaxed outlook, and his passing leaves a massive void in the Australian cricket community."

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