'I am alive': Legendary cricketer Heath Streak reacts to reports of his death

The former Zimbabwe captain said he was upset and 'hurt by the news'


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AFP file photo
AFP file photo

Published: Wed 23 Aug 2023, 11:26 AM

Last updated: Wed 23 Aug 2023, 10:35 PM

Hours after reports of legendary cricketer Heath Streak dying of cancer surfaced online, the former Zimbabwe captain debunked the news. Speaking to multiple publications, he has since said that he is "alive and well".

In a phone conversation with Deccan Chronicle, an Indian English daily, Streak called his death a ‘rumour and a total lie’. "I believe the source should apologise. I am hurt by the news," he was quoted as saying.

The cricketer also said, in an interview with Mid Day newspaper, that it was upsetting that "something as big as someone apparently passing can be spread unverified, especially in our day and age of social media.”

The 49-year-old was diagnosed with colon cancer in May, according to the Sportstar. Streak told the news portal on Wednesday that he has been in "good health and recovering from cancer". Expressing disappointment with the reports of his death, he further added: “People should be a bit more careful before spreading such rumours.”

News agency Reuters, one of many to report the supposed passing, also withdrew its report, noting the source for the story had "retracted his statement".

How it unfolded

Earlier in the day, former Zimbabwe cricketer Henry Olonga posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, about the death of his ex-teammate. The now-deleted post stated that Streak had “crossed to the other side”.

However, just hours later, Olonga shared a screenshot of his supposed WhatsApp conversation with Streak in which the duo had a light-hearted conversation about all the reports circulating online.

"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.

Glittering career

Streak became the first Zimbabwean cricketer to pick 100 wickets in Test cricket. He capped off his Test career claiming 1,990 runs and 216 wickets in 65 matches. Having played 189 ODIs, Streak scored 2,943 runs and picked 239 wickets. Streak has one century and 24 half-centuries to his name.

He was appointed the skipper in 2000, leading his country in 21 Tests. His stint as Zimbabwe captain came to an end in 2004. Streak retired from international cricket in October 2005 and is regarded as one of the most successful Zimbabwe captains.


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