Son’s progress more important?
Geoff in marshland
First outing as coach a disaster:
Sri Lanka coach Geoff Marsh had allegedly concentrated more on his
native Australian team’s matches against South Africa rather than the
team he is officially coaching in Sri Lanka, an away series against
Sri Lanka coach Geoff Marsh
It has now been disclosed that coach Marsh has been concentrating
more on the live match coverage of the series between Australia and
South Africa on a notebook computer when his team was struggling against
Pakistan during its recent Test and One Day International (ODI) series
in the UAE.
Besides being a former Australian cricket legend, Geoff Marsh has a
particular interest in concentrating on Australian cricket as both his
sons are among the contracted players in the Australian national squad.
His eldest son Shaun Marsh (28 years) has already represented
Australia in three Tests (aggregating 284 runs to average 56.80) with a
century and a fifty. In 36 ODIs, he has aggregated 1,274 runs (averaging
36.40) with two centuries and eight fifties. Incidentally, Shaun made
his Test debut against Sri Lanka with a bang, making a century on debut
- a marvelous 141 (with 18 fours off 315 balls in 420 minutes) at
Pallekele International Stadium last September.
It was said that officials of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) sealed his
two-year contract as Sri Lanka coach when Marsh Snr. was at Pallekele
International Stadium in Kandy to witness his eldest son in action.
It is alleged that Marsh Snr, using a borrowed laptop computer, had
been following the live feed of Australia’s batting debacle against
South Africa in the recent first Test on November 11, 2011 while Sri
Lanka team, batting first, was shot out for 131 runs in the first ODI
against Pakistan in Dubai on the same day. Team sources said Marsh Snr
was not concerned to boost the morale of the team when Sri Lankan
batsmen were returning to the dressing room, in quick succession, as
wickets tumbled at regular intervals.
Instead, he has been fully focused on the first Test in Cape Town
where Australia was shot out for 47 runs in the second innings to lose
by eight wickets to South Africa. Shaun Marsh, who made 44 in the first
innings, made a two-ball ‘duck’ in the second essay on November 11, much
to the disappointment of his father.
Shaun’s younger brother, Mitchell Marsh (20 years) has played only a
solitary ODI for Australia, making his debut with 8 not out against
South Africa in Centurion last October. He had captained Australia
Geoff Marsh’s conflict of interest could well push Sri Lanka cricket
into a dark era. Of that being a possibility was evident in the very
first series he coached against a moderate team like Pakistan which has
been starved of international cricket.
Nevertheless, Pakistan, playing at a neutral venue, humbled Sri Lanka
by winning both the Test (1-0) and ODI (4-1) series. Pakistan, which
exposed all weak links of the Lankan team, also won the one-off Twenty20
Besides Marsh’s lack of concentration and commitment on the team at
all times as a professional coach, several internal disputes in the
squad too have apparently contributed to Sri Lanka’s pathetic
performance in the desert. The SLC officials must begin an immediate
investigation, based on the manager’s report, to find out exact root
causes for Sri Lanka team’s poor performance.
Marsh retired from playing cricket in 1994 and two years later he was
chosen as coach of the Australian team. He was the coach of the
Australian team that won the 1999 World Cup in England, guiding the team
to seven consecutive victories to help them win the tournament. He left
the Australian coaching job to serve as a national selector until 2001.
From 2001 to 2004 he served as coach of the Zimbabwe national team.
Since September 27, Marsh Snr. is on a two-year contract with the SLC,
following the interim periods of former Australian batsman Stuart Law
and former Sri Lanka fast bowler Rumesh Ratnayake after the contract of
Trevor Bayliss expired with the 2011 ICC World Cup.
Born on December 31, 1958, Marsh has played 50 Tests and 117 ODIs,
made his international debut in December, 1985 when Australia was in
team-building process with young talent after the retirements of three
all-time greats – Greg Chappell, Dennis Lillee and Rodney Marsh.