Legendary Zimbawean cricketer Heath Streak, the news of whose death spread like wildfire in the morning, is very much alive.
This was confirmed by former Zimbawe cricketer and Streak's bowling partner Henry Olonga in a tweet.
"I can confirm that rumours of the demise of Heath Streak have been greatly exaggerated. I just heard from him. The third umpire has called him back. He is very much alive folks," Olonga wrote as he shared a screenshot of Streak's WhatsApp message on social media.
I can confirm that rumours of the demise of Heath Streak have been greatly exaggerated. I just heard from him. The third umpire has called him back. He is very much alive folks. pic.twitter.com/LQs6bcjWSB
— Henry Olonga (@henryolonga) August 23, 2023
It may be mentioned here that news about Streak's death went viral on August 23, 2023, morning after Olonga shared an update on social media platform X (previously called Twitter).
Taking to platform X (formerly Twitter), Henry Olonga shared his heartfelt sentiments.
"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," Olonga wrote.
The post has been deleted now.
Heath Streak, who had gained fame for his exceptional bowling skills, has been undergoing treatment for cancer under the care of a respected oncologist in South Africa.
The legendary cricketer retired from international cricket in 2005 at 31, leaving an enduring legacy.
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Streak's achievements includes being the sole Zimbabwean bowler to amass over 100 Test wickets and more than 200 wickets in one-day internationals (ODIs).
Notably, he led the Zimbabwean cricket team as its captain in 2000, a period marked by strained relations between the board and players.
Throughout his illustrious career, Streak played 65 Test matches, securing 216 wickets with an economy rate of 2.69.
In ODIs, he participated in 189 matches, claiming 239 wickets with an economy rate of 4.51.
His best bowling figures were an impressive 5-32.
Heath Streak was more than just a bowler; he also contributed significantly with the bat.
As a batter he accumulated 1,990 runs in Test cricket at an average of 22.4. In ODIs, he showcased his versatility, scoring 2,934 runs at a strike rate of 73.4 and an average of 28.3.
His journey began in 1993 with an impactful performance against Pakistan, where he took eight wickets in only his second Test in Rawalpindi.
The captaincy, however, was a mixed experience for Streak. Appointed as Zimbabwe's skipper in 2000 and later in 2002, he grappled with internal and external pressures.
He resigned once due to pay-related issues affecting his form and again in 2004 amidst mounting political expectations during a turbulent time in the nation's history.
Following his retirement, Streak continued to be associated with the game. He briefly captained Warwickshire in 2006 before stepping down after one game in 2007.
He also participated in the Indian Cricket League (ICL) in 2007, signalling his exit from international cricket.
However, he remained engaged in the sport through coaching with various teams, including Zimbabwe, Scotland, Bangladesh, and Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises Gujarat Lions and Kolkata Knight Riders.
Despite his illustrious career, Streak's legacy faced a setback in 2021 when he received an eight-year ban from the International Cricket Council (ICC) for violating the Anti-Corruption Code.
Heath Streak maintained his innocence, denying involvement in match-fixing, spot-fixing, or sharing information from the changeroom during a match.