Heath Streak ‘very much’ alive, rumours of his death fake: Olonga

Henry Olonga claims Streak still alive with WhatsApp screenshot of their conversation

TBS Report

23 August, 2023, 12:15 pm

Last modified: 23 August, 2023, 01:51 pm

File photo of Heath Streak(Zimbabwe Cricket/Twitter)

File photo of Heath Streak(Zimbabwe Cricket/Twitter)

File photo of Heath Streak(Zimbabwe Cricket/Twitter)

Heath Streak, the former Zimbabwe cricketer, is alive. Hours after Streak’s former teammate Henry Olonga posted about his ex-captain’s demise, the pace bowler-turned-singer shared another message confirming otherwise. Olonga shared a screenshot of his WhatsApp conversation with what appears to be with Streak, who wrote that he is “very much alive” and requested Henry to take down his previous update.

“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 on X.

Heath Streak was home in Zimbabwe when he heard news of his ‘demise’. As the news spread and tributes poured in from across the world, Streak told the Sportstar that he is in ‘good health and recovering from cancer’. As does not have a social media account, so there was no way of telling the world that it’s ‘fake news’.

“People should be a bit more careful before spreading such rumours. I am better now and recovering from cancer,” a rather disappointed Streak said on Wednesday.

“I am at home and obviously there’s still a bit of strain because of the treatment. But otherwise I am fine,” the former Zimbabwe captain said.

“Suddenly I get to know that people have started talking about my death, as someone shared it on social media. But that was not all correct. I am recovering and feeling a lot better…”

Many Bangladesh and international media outlets such as the UK’s The Guardian, Reuters along with a couple of leading Zimbabwe websites, along with captain of the Zimbabwe cricket team Sean Williams were among the first to share the hoax that was Streak’s death.

Earlier in the day, the cricketing world was left in shock with the news that former Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak passed away at the age of 49 after a battle with cancer. Streak was reported to be battling cancer earlier in the year and had been receiving treatment in South Africa.

Ex-Zimbabwe player Henry Olonga took to social media on Tuesday to pay tribute to his nation’s “greatest allrounder”.

“Sad news coming through that Heath Streak has crossed to the other side,” wrote Olonga.

“RIP [Zimbabwe cricket] 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,” he added.

Zimbabwe captain Sean Williams tweeted: “Streaky. No words can explain what you and your family have done for mine and many others. Our hearts our broken you leave behind a beautiful family and a legacy for us to live up to! You will b missed we love you dearly. Rest in peace Streaky.”

Heath Streak, the former fast bowler was one of Zimbabwe’s greatest-ever cricketers and was the first player from his nation to take 100 wickets.

Streak played 65 Tests and 189 one-day internationals for Zimbabwe, captaining them between 2000 and 2004.

He scored 4,933 international runs, hitting a lone century against the West Indies in Harare, and claimed 445 wickets.

Streak was appointed Bangladesh’s bowling coach in May 2014 until 2016 for a contract of two years.

During his tenure, there was a rise among the Bangladeshi fast bowlers with Taskin Ahmed and Mustafizur Rahman making a mark.

In 2021, he was banned from cricket for eight years after admitting to several breaches of the ICC’s anti-corruption code.

Streak accepted five charges and his punishment with the ICC in lieu of an anti-corruption tribunal hearing and was barred from any involvement in the sport until March 2029.

The ex-bowler had been under ICC investigation over an extensive list of international and Twenty20 league matches during his post-playing career as a coach, including for Zimbabwe between 2016 and 2018.

The ICC investigation found Streak communicated with an Indian man called “Mr X” during his time coaching Zimbabwe and in T20 leagues across Asia, according to the BBC.

He passed on information on matches and also the contact details of players, including the captain of a national side.

Streak accepted the ban by the ICC but denied the match-fixing claims levelled against him.

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