AFTER waking up to a disturbing grapevine that suggested that the country’s celebrated former cricketer Heath Streak had succumbed to cancer, his family members and close associates later dismissed the rumour saying the legend was alive and in high spirits.
Streak (49), who is one of Zimbabwe’s greatest bowlers, has been battling cancer for sometime and the rumour mill that he had passed on had left the world shocked.
Karen Streak, Heath’s mother, confirmed that the latter was alive and in high spirits as he continues fighting against the deadly disease.
“Heath is not well but he is here at the farm, walking about and cracking jokes. As a family, we are disturbed by the false news of his death and the phone has not stopped ringing, considering who Heath is. I picked up the phone so that I can put the record straight,” she said.
The family spokesperson, Joseph Rego also confirmed that Heath is alive and at the farm.
Rego is also Streak’s long-time friend and advisor.
“He is fine, it’s not true that he is no more. I would have been among the first ones to know and release the information,” said Rego
The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) also stepped in to dismiss the claims and warn members of the public against spreading false news under the pretence of ‘breaking news’.
In a statement, SRC Chairman Gerald Mlotshwa said he spoke to the Zimbabwe cricket legend yesterday morning.
Heath Streak batting
“Today, this morning the world including many of Heath’s close family, relatives and friends, and indeed Heath himself woke up to the news of his demise.
“If, in fact, it may not be already clear, Heath Streak is alive. He has not passed away. The undersigned has spoken to him this morning for his permission to issue this brief statement for the sake of his family and friends.
“Today of all days, and in the coming days, let us reflect deeply on what we choose to post, whether it is verified and factual, ethical or moral to do so, who we are hurting and causing trauma to; and ultimately whether our so called ‘breaking news’ is lawful under the laws of our country,” read the statement.
Streak’s lasting legacy in the gentlemen’s game continues to be celebrated as he fights on and the SRC also appealed to the public, at this time, to respect the family’s privacy.
“Whilst the overwhelming majority of posts this morning celebrated the life and achievements of this legendary cricketer, let us nonetheless respect the privacy of Heath’s family at this point in time, as well intentioned as we might all be,” read the statement.
Well-wishing messages have since been pouring in for the former cricketer, a lion-hearted fast bowler who had immense stamina and strength.
He is also Zimbabwe’s all-time leading wicket taker in international cricket.
Streak’s skill to bowl outswing pace saw him become the first Zimbabwean to reach 100 Test wickets. He first broke into the senior national side in the 1993/1994 Test series against Pakistan just after completing his secondary education at Falcon College in Esigodini.
He went on to finish his illustrious career with 216 Test wickets and 239 scalps in One Day Internationals (ODIs).
The entire world is wishing the Chevrons legend a speedy recovery.