Heath Streak, former Zimbabwe captain, dies aged 49

Tributes flood in for one of the country's greatest cricketers, who passed away on Sunday (September 3) having received treatment for colon and liver cancer


Heath Streak, one of Zimbabwe's finest ever cricketers, has died aged 49.

His passing was confirmed on Sunday (September 3) by his wife Nadine, who he survives alongside four children, in a heartfelt post on Facebook.

Streak had been undergoing sustained treatment for colon and liver cancer in recent months.

"In the early hours of this morning, Sunday the 3rd of September 2023, the greatest love of my life and the father of my beautiful children, was carried to be with the Angels from his home where he wished to spend his last days surrounded by his family and closest loved ones," Nadine wrote on social media.

"He was covered in love and peace and did not walk off the Park alone. Our souls are joined for eternity Streaky. Till I hold you again."

Streak enjoyed a decorated career stretched over nearly 15 years.


Streak represented Zimbabwe at three World Cups, in 1996, 1999 and 2003 (ALEXANDER JOE/AFP via Getty Images)

His finest days came with Zimbabwe, playing 65 Tests and 189 one-day internationals between 1993 and 2005.

Amid spells inside the ICC's top five allrounders in both formats, he scored 1,990 runs and 216 wickets in Test cricket. His ODI returns were equally impressive, reaching 2,943 runs and 239 scalps.

Though Streak had two stints as Zimbabwe captain they were largely inauspicious. In 2004, in the wake of the 50-over World Cup co-hosted by Zimbabwe, he departed for a second time, sparking 13 other white players to turn their backs on the national team over selection policy.

He would return the following year prior to his international retirement at the age of 31.

Three summers followed with Warwickshire, whom he captained for just over a season before standing aside citing a drop-off in form. He made 109 outings across formats, scoring 1,820 runs and taking 188 wickets before calling time on his career in 2007.


Streak in action for Warwickshire, who he played for between 2004 and 2007 (Clive Mason/Getty Images)

A truncated coaching career followed, including stints as Zimbabwe's bowling coach, with Matabeleland Tuskers, Bangladesh, Gujarat Lions, Scotland, Somerset and Kolkata Knight Riders.

In between was a spell as Zimbabwe's head coach but he was dismissed after failing to guide the team to the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

More recently, he was caught up in an anti-corruption scandal that saw him banned from cricket for eight years after admitting to five breaches of the ICC code.

In 2014, he set up the Heath Streak Academy -  renamed the Zimbabwe Youth Academy in 2021 following his resignation - which continues to run out of Bulawayo.

In May, it was revealed he was undergoing treatment for cancer in South Africa but was "in good spirits" and "would continue to fight this disease".


A foray into coaching included a stint as Zimbabwe's head coach (LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP via Getty Images)

Responding to the news, the Zimbabwe official X (formerly known as Twitter) account said: "Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family, friends, and fans of former captain Heath Streak. His contributions to cricket will always be remembered, and he will be dearly missed. Rest in peace."

KKR, who Streak worked with as a bowling coach, added on X: "A sad day for the cricket fraternity. Rest in peace, Heath Streak."

Former club Warwickshire, whose players wore black armbands during their County Championship match against Surrey, wrote: "Everyone at Warwickshire is shocked and saddened to hear that former Captain Heath Streak has passed away. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time."

Former India batter Virdender Sehwag added: "Sad to hear the passing away of Heath Streak. He was a prominent figure in the rise of Zimbabwe cricket in the late 90s and early 2000s and was very competitive. Heartfelt Condolences to his family and friends."

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