/ 07 March 2022

Remembering 2 greats of Aussie cricket

Image source: Getty
Image source: Getty

It’s been a devastating few days for Australia’s cricket community and fans worldwide with the deaths of 2 giants of the game, Shane Warne and Rod Marsh. They died within 24 hours of each other on Friday.

Wasn’t it. We’ve done a Squiz Shortcut on Warne’s life and times (and Marsh’s too…). But 3 things to note:

• He broke both his legs in a playground accident when he was young, and he had to scoot around by lying on his stomach on a trolley for 6 months. He said that gave him strong wrists and forearms at an early age – perfect prep for what was to come.

His first love was Aussie Rules footy, but when he was told by AFL club St Kilda at 18yo that he wasn’t good enough, he decided to develop his talent for leg-spin bowling. And you only need to watch Warne’s ‘ball of the century’ to see how that panned out…

• Between 1992-2007, Warne became Australia’s most prolific wicket-taker and was a fierce competitor with a genius for mind games. There were also many troubles off the field… Despite all that, Warne said that his solid relationship with his 3 children was his best achievement.

Warne was with friends in Koh Samui, Thailand and was found in his room on Friday afternoon. An official cause of death is pending, but it’s believed he had a heart attack. He was 52yo. His family have taken up the offer of a state funeral on a date to be set. And Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the MCG’s mega Great Southern Stand will be renamed the SK Warne Stand in his honour.

Rod Marsh was a huge figure in Australian cricket between 1970 and 1984. Put simply, he was one of cricket’s greatest-ever wicketkeepers. Marsh has many entries in the record books, but his partnership with legendary fast bowler Dennis Lillee was exceptional. ‘Caught Marsh, bowled Lillee’ was noted 95 times – a record that stands today. He was known as a “loveable larrikin” who had quite a bit of enthusiasm for a beverage. He famously drank 51 cans of beer on a flight to England in 1983 – let’s just say it was a different time… After retiring from playing, Marsh headed up the Australian Cricket Academy in Adelaide and was a head selector for Australia’s cricket team, before stepping down in 2016. The 74yo had a heart attack in Bundaberg, Queensland – he was placed in a coma and taken home to Adelaide but he did not recover. His son Paul said he was “an incredible husband, father and grandfather.” Marsh will also have a state funeral – the details are TBC.

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