Zimbabwe cricket great Heath Streak dies of cancer at 49


Former Zimbabwe captain and coach Heath Streak, one of the country's finest cricketers and leading wicket-takers, has died of cancer at the age of 49, his family said on Sunday.

Zimbabwe cricket legend Heath Streak dies of cancer at 49 orbitutary

Streak, who had been battling colon and liver cancer since May, passed away at his home in Harare surrounded by his wife Nadine and their four children.

"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 Streak wrote on Facebook.

"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 was a key figure in the Zimbabwe team that enjoyed its most successful run in international cricket in the 1990s, playing 65 Tests and 189 one-day internationals between 1993 and 2005.

He was the first Zimbabwean to take more than 100 Test wickets and over 200 ODI wickets, finishing with 216 and 239 respectively. He was also a handy lower-order batsman, scoring 1990 runs in Tests and 2943 in ODIs.

He made his debut as a 19-year-old in an abandoned match against South Africa in Bengaluru during the 1993 Hero Cup in India, where one of the umpires was Piloo Reporter, who coincidentally also died on Sunday in Mumbai at the age of 84.

Streak captained Zimbabwe in 21 Tests and 68 ODIs, leading them to their first Test series win abroad against Bangladesh in 2004. He also coached Zimbabwe from 2016 to 2018, guiding them to qualify for the 2019 World Cup.

However, his career ended on an unfortunate note when he was banned for eight years by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2021 for breaching its anti-corruption code. He admitted to disclosing inside information and accepting payment in bitcoins from a potential corruptor, but denied any involvement in match-fixing.

Streak's cricket academy, which he founded in 2009, continues to operate under the name of Zimbabwe Youth Academy after he resigned last year. He spent his final months fishing and tending to his family farm.

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