Former Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak passed away at the age of 49 on Tuesday after a battle with cancer. Streak, who was diagnosed with colon and liver cancer in May, had represented Zimbabwe in 65 Tests and 189 ODIs.
During his career, Streak established himself as one of Zimbabwe’s finest allrounders. He retired as the leading wicket-taker for his country in Test matches with 216 wickets, and in ODIs with 239 scalps. Streak’s career spanned over a decade, during which he scored a total of 4,933 runs and claimed 455 wickets in both formats.
Streak was part of Zimbabwe’s golden generation of cricketers between 1997 and 2002. He led the national team in the 2000s before resigning in 2004 following a clash with the board. A year later, he retired from international cricket at the age of 31.
After retiring from playing, Streak took up coaching roles. He served as the bowling coach of the national team and was part of the coaching staff that included Grant Flower and former English cricketer Alan Butcher. Streak also worked as the bowling coach for IPL teams Kolkata Knight Riders and the now-defunct Gujarat Lions, as well as for Bangladesh and Somerset.
However, in 2021, Streak was found guilty of breaching the ICC’s anti-corruption policies. He was banned from all cricketing activities for eight years for assisting a bookie in contacting players during a franchise-based league. Streak accepted the ban but denied the match-fixing allegations against him.
Despite his controversial end to his cricketing career, Streak leaves behind a legacy as one of Zimbabwe’s greatest allrounders. His former teammates and players from around the world paid tribute to him on social media, highlighting his contributions to the sport and the impact he had on their lives.
Heath Streak will be remembered as a talented cricketer and coach who made significant contributions to Zimbabwean cricket. His passing is a great loss to the cricketing community, and he will be deeply missed. Rest in peace, Heath Streak.