Australian legendary cricketer Rodney Marsh has passed away in an Adelaide hospital, at the age of 74. He suffered a heart attack in Queensland last week.

Marsh was the best wicketkeeper in the world at the peak of his powers. He was also a handy batsman. He was a coach, mentor, and administrator who guided the game’s youth through national and international cricket academies.

Marsh had his introduction to cricket in the backyard of his family home, along with his elder brother, Graham, who went on to become a successful professional golfer, according to The Manning River Times, Australia.

By the age of eight, he was playing competitively with the Armadale under-16 side. He once said, “I kept wicket right from the start, but batting was my main strength.”

Born on November 4, 1947, in Armadale, Western Australia, Marsh had a Test career spanning from 1970-71 to the 1983-84 Australian seasons.

In 96 Tests, he set a world record of 355 wicket-keeping dismissals, the same number his pace bowling Western Australian teammate Dennis Lillee achieved with the ball. He scored 3633 runs with a top score of 132 at an average of 26.5.

Both Marsh and Lillee made their Test debuts in the same series and retired from Test cricket in the same match. Wisden, colloquially the Bible of Cricket, once stated, “Few partnerships between bowler and wicket-keeper have had so profound an impact on the game.”

After his retirement in 1984, Marsh headed the cricket academies of Australia and England. He was the inaugural head of an ICC (International Cricket Council) world coaching academy in Dubai. He also became Australian chairman of selectors.

Marsh’s sportsmanship was exemplified when Greg Chappell directed his brother Trevor Chappell to bowl an underarm delivery against New Zealand in a one-day international at the MCG to ensure victory in 1981.

Marsh shook his head in disapproval, trying to dissuade his captain. He had said, “Don’t do it, no mate!” It was the moment that summed up Marsh, the cricketer and the person. He said, “Respect is part of my non-negotiables.”

In one of his insightful lectures, Marsh opened up on how he saw cricket and how he believed the game should be played. He said, “The spirit of the game is very straightforward to me, and I feel as if I understand it completely. I was involved in two incidents during my career for which I felt I received unfair praise.”

“I was taught not to cheat and I mean that and it would have been cheating had I not called him back. Simple. Why should I be praised for doing this? It was the correct thing to do,” he added.

Marsh is survived by his wife Roslyn and sons Daniel, Paul, and Jamie. Daniel captained Tasmania to their first Sheffield Shield win and Paul is a former CEO of the Australian Cricketers’ Association.