Australian fast-bowling all-rounder Mitchell Marsh addressed the recent controversy surrounding a photo of him resting his feet over the ODI World Cup trophy, clarifying that it was not meant as disrespectful and expressing his openness to repeating the gesture.
Following Australia's victory against hosts India in the ODI World Cup title clash, a picture surfaced on captain Pat Cummins' Instagram showing Marsh with his feet placed on the trophy, sparking a social media uproar.
"In that photo, there was no intention of disrespect whatsoever. I haven't dwelled much on it, haven't been too active on social media despite being told it's gained traction. For me, there's nothing contentious about it," Marsh shared on SEN Radio.
Despite facing criticism from Indian fans, particularly from fast-bowler Mohammed Shami, who expressed feeling "hurt" by the gesture, Marsh remained firm about his perspective. When asked if he would repeat it, he responded, "Yes, probably, to be honest."
In the wake of the Men’s ODI World Cup, Australia and India engaged in a five-match T20I series shortly after. Marsh expressed his opinion about such scheduling, suggesting that it might not be ideal to arrange bilateral tournaments immediately following global events in the future.
"The scheduling was quite remarkable for the guys who remained. We understand the significance of representing Australia in a series against India, which holds great importance. However, there's the human aspect too – the team had just secured a World Cup win and deserved time to celebrate and reunite with their families. It's a delicate balance. Hopefully, there'll be fewer such series following major tournaments."
Several players, including Steve Smith, Adam Zampa, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Josh Inglis, and Sean Abbott, returned home after participating in the initial three T20I games, leaving Travis Head as the lone representative from the World Cup-winning team in India.
"I celebrated on behalf of the six guys who stayed back; my celebration was for them," Marsh concluded.
(With Agency Inputs)