Australian cricket legend Rodney Marsh passes away aged 74

Rodney Marsh, widely considered as one of the greatest wicketkeepers in cricket history, died Friday after having a heart attack at a charity event, according to his former teammates. The 74-year-old had been in an induced coma and died at a hospital in Adelaide, according to ndtvsports.com. He played 96 Tests and then became a long-time national selector.

Marsh made his Test debut in 1970 and retired in 1984 with 355 Test dismissals, many of which came off the bowling of famed paceman Dennis Lillee.

He was the first Australian wicketkeeper to reach the century mark in a Test match.

“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,” Cricket Australia tweeted.

Marsh stayed close to the game after his playing days as the head of the Australian Cricket Academy, where he helped develop scores of Test players, including Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer, before becoming chairman of selectors.

According to Ian Chappell, his former captain and long-time friend, Marsh was revered by everyone he played with and against.

“It wasn’t just his playing ability, although that was a big part of it,” Chappell said.

“The thing about Rod was, you knew where you stood with him. He always said what he thought, and you could handle that, because he was up-front.”

In confirming his death, Cricket Tasmania said it was “extremely saddened” to hear of the passing of Rod Marsh overnight.

Rod was an icon of Australian cricket and his passing signifies a great loss for the game the world over, it added.

Marsh is survived by his wife, Roslyn, as well as his three kids, Daniel, Paul, and Jamie.

Last week, he fell during a charity event in Queensland, and his son Paul announced on Monday that his father was still in an induced coma.