Heath Streak, a former all-rounder for Zimbabwe, has been diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing treatment in South Africa. His family recently clarified that he is not presently on his deathbed, as he is in ‘good spirits’, contrary to what was previously reported in the media.
The statement added that the 49-year-old will continue to fight cancer in the same manner he did against all of his opponents during his playing career, and that they want fans to comprehend the situation and respect their privacy in this dire circumstance.
“Heath has cancer and is receiving treatment from one of South Africa’s most esteemed oncologists. Heath is in high spirits and will continue to fight this disease in the same manner he confronted his opponents during his days as a cricket player.
“The family hopes that you will understand and respect their desire for this to remain a private family matter, and they thank you for your prayers and good wishes,” his family said in a statement.
Notably, Streak represented Zimbabwe in 65 Tests and 189 ODIs, accumulating 1990 runs in the former and 2943 runs in the latter. The former captain has also taken 216 wickets in the longest format of the game and 239 in the 50-over format. In the meantime, the cricketer stepped down as team captain in 2004 and announced his retirement in 2005 at the young age of 31.
Since then, Streak has coached numerous franchises worldwide, including the two-time IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders, the now-defunct Gujarat Lions, Somerset, and the Bangladesh national team. Additionally, he served as an advisor for the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association Academy.
In 2021, the International Cricket Council suspended Streak for eight years for involvement in a match-fixing scandal. He was rumored to have accepted bribes from a potential match-fixer, Indian businessman Deepak Agarwal, for which he subsequently apologized and stated he never intended to tamper with the game.