Mitch Marsh expressed his thanks to Australia's leaders with his second century of the World Cup following a challenging week for his family
Family first: Marsh grateful for chance to send off 'Pop'
An emotional Mitch Marsh revealed his gratitude to Australia team leaders for permitting him compassionate leave during the World Cup, allowing him to send off his beloved 'Pop' following his death last week.
Marsh flew home to be in Perth for his maternal grandfather Ross' final days, missing the Aussies' match against England, before rejoining the team for their final two group matches against Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
The allrounder said his match-winning century on Saturday, a devastating 177no from only 132 balls that led Australia to a seventh straight victory, was the first innings of his career his grandpa did not see.
"He was a huge part of my career – he always used to tell me he bowled 150kph. Unfortunately, he didn't give me that gene," the typically disarming Marsh, who shares the middle name Ross with his brother Shaun, told reporters in Pune after the eight-wicket win over Bangladesh.
Marsh watched the funeral on a live stream before Australia trained on Friday in Pune, expressing his appreciation to captain Pat Cummins and coach Andrew McDonald for being able to return home.
The team wore black arm bands for the match against England in Ahmedabad as a mark of respect and won comfortably despite the absence of both him and Glenn Maxwell.
"It's obviously a challenging week for the family," said Marsh. "My Pop was an outstanding man and just a huge cricket supporter and he's watched a lot of cricket over his time.
"It was sad but he lived a beautiful life.
"The fact that Ronnie (McDonald) and Patty allowed me to go back without questioning anything, putting our family first, it meant a lot to me.
"Sitting with my grandma watching the boys wear black armbands (was special), little things that probably a lot of people think that goes unnoticed on TV."
That Marsh returned to top form with a barnstorming hundred, his second of the World Cup, vindicated the faith placed in him.
The 32-year-old will be integral to Australia's hopes of beating South Africa in Thursday's semi-final in Kolkata.
"I felt really cared for and to go back into the World Cup was a big call, but now that we've qualified, it's all worth it," said Marsh.
"I felt really supported from our group, from our family. My Nanna was very vocal about me coming straight back and getting stuck in. My Pop certainly would have been as well.
"That gave me a lot of happiness to come back and do this. I've worked my whole career to be able to play the World Cup so Pop certainly would have understood that."
Although they were not as severe as the cramps suffered by Maxwell in his miracle knock against Afghanistan, Marsh struggled with the intense heat during his three-hour innings.
The Western Australian pushed through despite clearly feeling its effects around the time he reached triple figures, finishing with nine sixes to his name.
"It's always a great honour to score a hundred, but I was pretty cooked to be honest," he said.
"I was just starting to cramp at that stage (upon reaching his ton), so I was trying to keep my heart rate low and not exert too much energy. This one meant just as much as any other hundred that I've ever made."
Australia's 2023 ODI World Cup fixtures
October 8: Lost to India by six wickets
October 12: Lost to South Africa by 134 runs
October 16: Beat Sri Lanka by five wickets
October 20: Beat Pakistan by 62 runs
October 25: Beat Netherlands by 309 runs
October 28: Beat New Zealand by five runs
November 4: Beat England by 33 runs
November 7: Beat Afghanistan by three wickets
November 11: Beat Bangladesh by eight wickets
November 19: Final, Ahmedabad, 7.30pm AEDT
Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Sean Abbott, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa