December 4, 2017
At Yalumba, we love cricket, we always have.
We mow a pitch in to our front lawn every November; on ‘day one’ of the Adelaide Test Match it's pretty hard to find anyone at the winery; and in the 70s touring Ashes teams used to spend their rest day swimming in the Hill-Smith family’s pool here in Angaston.
Two of our oldest cricketing friends here at the winery are Dennis Lillee and Rodney Marsh, Australian cricket royalty and a couple of blokes that appreciate a good red when they smell one.
In the lead up to this years’ Ashes series we thought we’d open a few good bottles and talk cricket, with these two legends, over a glass, of course.
Over a Glass was recorded high in the Members Stand of the world-famous Adelaide Oval and is hosted by Nick Ryan – one of Australia’s top wine writers and a self-confessed cricketing tragic.
We hope you enjoy Over a Glass with Lillee and Marsh.
Test cricket's most successful bowler-fielder combination of all: the duo from Western Australia combined to claim 95 victims (all caught Marsh, bowled Lillee) in the 69 Tests they played together.
As ever, though, the statistics only tell part of the story. Marsh and Lillee also typified the aggressive spirit of the Australian team of the time. With their bristling moustaches, their barely buttoned shirts and their fiery temperaments, they embodied the ferocious seventies unit and the era of World Series Cricket.
Dennis Lillee’s excellence as a fast bowler requires little reiteration. Suffice it to say that many judges rate him as the finest quick in the history of the game, and when Wisden named its “Cricketers of the [20th] century”, Lillee was rated sixth. He was also the highest-placed specialist fast bowler.
Rod Marsh, however, does not always gain the spotlight his record deserves. He held, for a while, the record for the most Test victims by a wicketkeeper – it was, naturally, a catch off the bowling of Lillee that took him to the milestone – while his tally of 28 dismissals in the 1982-83 Ashes remains the record for any wicketkeeper in any series.
Athletic, brave, and as tough as the land where he was born, Marsh kept with skill to the Lillee-Thomson attack – arguably the fastest in the history of the game – and often seemed as indestructible and permanent as Uluru.
It was fitting that, after 14 years together, they bowed out of Test cricket on the same day.
Dennis Lillee & Rod Marsh during a visit to the Yalumba winery, circa 1980.