Australian cricket team’s emotional gesture honours late Rod Marsh, fulfilling promise to his widow

Dec 12, 2022
Rod Marsh honoured with emotional tribute as a promise to his widow. Source: Getty

The Australian cricket team has paid an emotional tribute to the late wicketkeeping legend, Rod Marsh, following the Aussie team’s 419-run win over the West Indies at the Adelaide Test on Sunday, December 11.

The winning Aussies gathered around a tribute to Marsh, recently unveiled by the South Australian Cricket Association, to sing the team song Under the Southern Cross I Stand, made popular with the players after Marsh sang it as a victory tune following the Ashes Test in 1970.

The Rod Marsh Spirit of Cricket Wattle Meeting Place, behind Adelaide Oval’s Edwin Smith Stand, features an image of Marsh beside the national flower, bronze wicketkeeper’s gloves, and the engraved lyrics to the team’s song: “Underneath the Southern Cross I stand/ A sprig of wattle in my hand/ A native of my native land/ Australia, you fucking beauty”. 

Cricketer Nathan Lyon, who is currently tasked with leading his team in the song, revealed at the beginning of the Test, that the tribute around Marsh’s memorial was a promise made to the wicketkeeper’s widow, Roslyn.

“I had Roz, his lovely wife, call me about three months ago and ask me about the words to the song, because they’ve engraved that in the concrete,” Lyon told 7News.

“And she actually asked me, one wish I could ask for, if you guys were to go out there and win, if you could sing the song out there.

“That’s definitely in my planning to do that. We’re up against another stiff opposition in West Indies so we have to make sure we’re doing our best out here before we get that result.”

The 74-year-old former wicketkeeper died in hospital on March 4, 2022, following a heart attack at the Bulls Masters charity cricket event on February 24, where he was rushed to hospital in a critical condition and placed in a coma.

Marsh is famous for his incredible cricket career, representing Australia as a wicketkeeper in 96 Test matches and 92 One Day Internationals (ODIs) between 1970 and 1984, securing a reputation as one of Australia’s most renowned cricket legends.

He was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame in 2005 and the ICC Hall of Fame in 2009.

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