I’m saddened to hear that Rod Marsh has died and extend my condolences to his family, his inner circle and the extended ripples that come with 50 years of influence.
One ripple is that of kids in lounge rooms watching cricket on TV in the late seventies and early eighties, Marsh was an idol. Back then in the days of one screen per house, the TV was in the lounge room and in full view of Mum as she went about her busy day. Idleness was not well regarded by our mother and the TV was never on during the day, Thankfully Dad loved cricket as did Mum’s sister and cousin. And thus, watching cricket on TV before 5 pm was one of the few day time TV sanctioned activities even by Mum’s never sit still standards.
I loved watching fifty over cricket in my teens. One-day cricket was made for Marsh, a talented wicket keeper, stirrer, motivator, strategist and tactician, counsellor to his captain and teammates. This is what my teenage eyes saw on the Telly and occasionally live at the G. A blustering batsman with short strong arms that made runs like we’d never seen before. Remember this is the perspective of a teenager being recalled some 40 years later, so quite possibly a long way from the truth. But it was my truth. I saw not only eye watering talent and excitement, I saw leadership as well as a touch of larrikinism. As a kid who loved to be a larrikin, it showed me that you can be good at your craft and still have fun. It taught me that supporting others to shine is as important as shining yourself.
Of course, Marsh had an impact on the game and business of cricket well beyond his playing years, and that impact is for others who actually knew the man to speak of.
I speak on behalf of all those kids who watched on the Telly, thinking, I want to be like that bloke – he seems alright. I speak for those who noticed more than the great catches and stumpings and the fours and sixes. I speak for every kid who noticed every conversation of Marsh and Chappell or Marsh and Hughes or Marsh and Lillie.
Who inspired you and who do you inspire?