Geoff Marsh and sons make history
What do Geoff Marsh, Walter Hadlee and Lala Amarnath have in common? They are the only three Test cricketers to have had two sons who also played Test cricket. After Marsh presented his second son Mitchell with his baggy green in Dubai, he joked that maybe he shouldn't have stopped at two boys.
"Speak to my wife, we should have kept going!" he said.
Marsh was the 333rd man to represent Australia in Test cricket when he made his debut in 1985, and he was on hand in Sri Lanka in 2011 to present eldest son Shaun with his baggy green when he became No. 422. The occasion was repeated in Dubai with Mitchell, who at 23 became the 438th Australian Test cricketer.
"It was quite tough, really," Marsh said of the emotion. "It was a real honour to be asked to do it. It was just pleasing, more pleasing that he's got the opportunity to play Test cricket.
"I'm pleased for both my boys. They followed me around while I was playing Test cricket and coaching Australia. Deep down you could see it in their eyes they wanted to follow in those footsteps and now they've both been given that opportunity. Hopefully there's a lot of cricket left in them."
Although Shaun remembers hanging around in the Australian change rooms when Geoff was a Test player, the younger Mitchell was mostly exposed to Geoff the coach, after he took over the Australia team in 1996. It is little wonder that he has a fine cricket brain, so much so that Michael Clarke wrote this week that the young allrounder could be a future captain of his country.
"It's nice to hear the Australian captain say things like that," Geoff Marsh said. "I said to Mitch you've just got to take every day in Test cricket one day at a time. Test cricket puts out a lot of challenges, you've got to meet those challenges and you only do that through good focus and concentration and working hard.
"He's only a young boy. He thinks about the game a lot. We'll just wait and see. He's got to get through a lot of hurdles. He's only young, hopefully he can just perform well and consistent and see what happens after that."
There was a considerable Marsh family contingent on hand for the cap presentation including the third sibling Melissa, a recently retired basketballer who captained the West Coast Waves in the WNBL in Australia. Shaun, though, was back at home preparing for a Futures League game as he continues his recovery from injury.
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale