Heath Streak, a former Zimbabwean cricket captain and widely regarded as one of the greatest cricketers from his country, is battling cancer and is undergoing treatment under one of the most respected oncologists in South Africa, his family revealed in a statement on Saturday.
Streak, aged 49, who had a remarkable career playing 65 Test matches and 189 One Day Internationals (ODIs), is reportedly receiving medical treatment at a hospital in Johannesburg. His family is said to be urgently traveling from London to be by his side.
A source close to the former player took to Twitter, stating, “Heath Streak’s health is deteriorating rapidly. His family is on their way to South Africa from the UK. It seems that only a miracle can save him now. Let’s all pray for his recovery.”
Heath Streak is on his last legs. Family en route to South Africa from the UK..
Seems only a miracle will save him now.
Prayers up 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/YtZpcR2BSR
— Mike Madoda (@mikemadoda) May 13, 2023
David Coltart, a former Zimbabwean Minister of Education, Sport, Arts & Culture, as well as a human rights lawyer, also shared a message, saying, “I appeal to the prayer warriors in Zimbabwe and beyond. Heath Streak, one of the finest cricketers our nation has ever produced, is extremely unwell and requires our prayers. Let us all join together in praying for him and his family.”
Sean Williams, a current Zimbabwean cricketer and a close friend of Streak, shed light on his health condition, saying, “Heath is battling stage 4 colon and liver cancer. All I know is that his immediate family has been summoned to be with him in South Africa, but I’m not aware of any further details. I did send a message to Heath, and he responded, but I believe his family would appreciate privacy at this time. It seems that the cancer has been spreading rapidly since just last week he was out fishing. Heath is my mentor, and he has done a lot of good for many people, including saving my life and career. We can only pray for his recovery.”
Streak was the first Zimbabwean cricketer to reach 100 wickets. However, after retiring, he encountered legal issues with anti-corruption authorities and was banned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for a period of eight years in 2021.
The family has requested privacy through a statement, which reads, “Heath is currently undergoing treatment for cancer with one of South Africa’s most respected oncologists. Despite his condition, he remains in high spirits and will continue to fight this disease, just as fiercely as he battled his opponents on the cricket field during his illustrious career.”
“The family kindly asks for your understanding and respect for their desire to keep this as a private matter, and they appreciate your prayers and well wishes. No further official updates regarding his health will be provided at this time. Any information that becomes public should be regarded as mere speculation,” said Joseph Rego, a close friend of Streak, president and board chairman of the Academy Of Cricket Excellence, and the spokesperson for Heath Streak’s family regarding his health.
A Cricket Legend’s Remarkable Journey
Heath Streak’s cricket career is etched in the annals of Zimbabwean cricket history as one of the most exceptional. Widely revered as one of the country’s greatest cricketers, he left an indelible mark on the sport. Streak’s accomplishments on the field were nothing short of extraordinary, making him an iconic figure both in Zimbabwe and on the international stage. However, his career took a somber turn in 2021 when he was found to have violated the anti-corruption policies of the International Cricket Council (ICC), resulting in his suspension.
Suspension and Admission of Guilt
The renowned fast bowler, regretfully, admitted to five breaches of the ICC’s anti-corruption code, which included accepting payment in bitcoin from Deepak Agarwal, an Indian businessman suspected of corruption. In his sincere apology, Streak sought to shed light on his association with Agarwal, maintaining that he had no intention of compromising the integrity of the game.
Battle with Illness
Although specific details surrounding Streak’s illness remain shrouded in uncertainty, reports indicate that his condition is critical, prompting his family’s urgent journey from the UK to South Africa. Those close to the family express that only a miraculous intervention can offer hope in this dire situation.
A Call for Prayers
As Zimbabweans and the global cricket community eagerly await updates on Streak’s health, there is a collective plea for prayers to be offered for him and his family during this trying period. Supporters, admirers, and well-wishers are encouraged to unite in prayer, drawing strength from their shared hopes for his recovery.