Zimbabwe cricket legend Heath Streak confirmed alive despite bizarre death rumour
By News Desk
August 23, 2023 10:00 AM
Former Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak is confirmed alive by former Zimbabwean cricketer Henry Olonga after rumours of his death circulated on the internet, Fox Sports reports.
The cricket world mourned the loss of Streak earlier on Wednesday, but they soon learned that he is well after a post on X, the social platform formerly known as Twitter, by Olonga.
“I can confirm that rumours of the demise of Heath Streak have been greatly exaggerated,” former cricketer Henry Olonga wrote. “I just heard from him. The third umpire has called him back. He is very much alive folks.”
Olonga was the one who first broke the news of Streak’s demise.
News sites, including Reuters and Fox Sports, followed up reports attributed to former teammates which had suggested Streak had lost his battle with cancer on Tuesday.
Streak is undergoing treatment in South Africa after being diagnosed with what friends and close ones described as colon and liver cancer.
Henry Olonga, former Zimbabwe fast bowler and Streak's long-time teammate and current Zimbabwe captain Sean Williams earlier took to social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) to express their grief and pass on condolences. There, however, has been no official statement from Streak's family yet.
"Sad news coming through that Heath Streak has crossed to the other side. RIP @ZimCricketv legend. The greatest all-rounder we produced. It was a pleasure playing with you. See you on the other side when my bowling spell comes to an end," said Olonga.
"Streaky. No words can explain what you and your family have done for mine and many others. Our hearts r broken you leave behind a beautiful family and a legacy for us to live up to! You will be missed we love you dearly Rest in peace Streaky," wrote Sean Williams.
The former Zimbabwe captain represented the country in 65 Tests and 189 ODIs. He still continues to be Zimbabwe's all-time highest wicket-taker in both Tests and ODIs. The former right-arm pacer has 216 wickets in Tests and 239 in ODIs.
Streak is the first Zimbabwe cricketer to claim 100 wickets in both Tests and ODIs. He is also the only Zimbabwe cricketer to complete the double of 100 Test wickets and 1000 Test runs and the only one from the country to score 2000 runs and claim 200 wickets in ODIs.
The gutsy all-rounder, who was a good exponent of the new ball, could also give the ball a whack in the lower middle order. His 1990 Test runs with a best of 127* and 2943 runs in ODIs at an average of 28.29 is proof of that.
Streak made his Test and ODI debut in the same year in 1993 and after consistent performances with both bat and ball, was appointed captain of the side in 2000.
He created history by registering Zimbabwe's first-ever overseas Test series win by leading the side to a 2-1 victory against New Zealand in 2001. His road as captain, however, was never smooth.
Tension between senior players and the board regarding player quotas prompted him to resign from captaincy only to be reinstated in 2002. He was faced with a new challenge as senior players, including Olonga, went on a protest against the Zimbabwe government. Streak again quit captaincy in 2004 after a fallout with the board.
Streak came back in 2005 and played his last Test against India in September of that year before signing for English county side Warwickshire.
He was named the bowling coach of the Zimbabwe side in 2009. He held the position till 2013. His second stint as part of the Zimbabwe side's support staff was between 2016 and 2018. He also served as the bowling coach of IPL side Kolkata Knight Riders in 2018.