However, Streak’s family has yet to release an official statement. Reports indicate that Streak was receiving medical care in South Africa following a diagnosis described by friends and loved ones as cancer affecting his colon and liver.
“No words can explain what you and your family have done for mine and many others,” Zimbabwean cricketer Sean Williams wrote on Twitter. “Our hearts our 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,” he wrote.
Heath Streak, a versatile cricketer who not only captained the national team but also coached Bangladesh’s men’s national cricket team, has left a lasting impact on aspiring cricketers, especially those hailing from his homeland. His career coincided with a period of political unrest that deeply affected the game in Zimbabwe.
“Sad news has emerged of Heath Streak’s passing. Rest in peace, legendary figure of @ZimCricketv. He stood as the finest all-rounder our nation produced. Playing alongside you was an honor. Farewell until we meet again on the other side, when my time to bowl concludes…😔,” shared Henry Olonga, a former Zimbabwean cricketer who was Streak’s teammate, on his Twitter account.
Olonga also posted a throwback photograph from the 1999 Cricket World Cup featuring him and Streak.
Earlier, Streak’s family had confirmed that he was battling cancer and undergoing treatment.
“In the face of cancer, Heath pursued treatment under the care of a respected oncologist in South Africa,” his family conveyed in a statement previously.
“His spirit remains strong, as he confronts this ailment much like the opponents he encountered during his illustrious days on the cricket field.”
Streak’s health took a turn for the worse in May, prompting his family to admit him to the hospital immediately.
Streak was a highly decorated cricketer of his time, playing 65 test matches for the national team. Heath Streak was also seen as a key stakeholder to put Zimbabwe cricket on the world map. He scored 1,990 runs at an average of 22.35 and took an impressive 216 wickets with an economical rate of 2.69. He also played in 189 one-day internationals, scoring a total of 2,943 runs in 159 innings and claiming 239 wickets.
Streak debuted in test cricket in 1993 against Pakistan in Karachi, and his last appearance in the longer format for the national team was in 2005 against India.
In 2000, Streak assumed the role of Zimbabwe’s captain. However, he had quit after conflicts with the board over compensation and quotas. He was reinstated as captain in 2002 but faced renewed scrutiny as Zimbabwean cricket struggled amid the country’s internal turbulence. In April 2004, he stepped down after the cricket board failed to provide selection assurances.
Following a tense standoff with the board, Streak made his return in March 2005 and promptly contributed to a struggling team.
His association with the Indian Cricket League in 2008 signaled the end of his international career. In 2009, he took the position of Zimbabwe’s bowling coach.
Indian cricketers, past and present, also took to Twitter to pay condolences.
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