Former Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak died on Sunday, September 3, 2023, at the age of 49, his family confirmed on social media.
Streak, who played 65 Tests and 189 ODIs for Zimbabwe from 1993-2005, was battling liver cancer for a long time.
"In the early hours of this morning, Sunday the 3rd of September 2023, the greatest love of my life and the father of my beautiful children, was carried to be with the Angels from his home where he wished to spend his last days surrounded by his family and closest loved ones," wrote Streak's wife Nadine on Facebook.
"He was covered in love and peace and did not walk off the Park alone. Our souls are joined for eternity Streaky. Till I hold you again," Nadine added.
A few days ago, former Zimbabwe fast bowler Henry Olonga announced the demise of Streak on social media, only to deny it hours later after a message from his captain, but by then condolence messages by several former cricketers had surfaced.
"RIP Streaky," Olonga wrote on X, formerly Twitter, on Sunday.
In Test cricket, Streak claimed 216 wickets and scored one century — against West Indies — and 11 half-centuries for Zimbabwe. In 189 ODIs, he bagged 239 wickets and made 2,943 runs with 13 fifties. He is the highest wicket-taker for Zimbabwe by a long margin in both Tests and ODIs.
In 68 ODIs as captain, he led Zimbabwe to win in 18 and lost 47 while three finished without any result. In 21 Tests, Streak captained Zimbabwe to wins in four while they lost 11 and drew six.
When Zimbabwe was under dictator Robert Mugabe's rule, Streak was criticised for not taking a firm political stand like Olonga and former skipper Andy Flower, and in April 2004 he left the captaincy role as the team went under a challenging phase.
He went on to coach several teams including Zimbabwe after his playing days were over and became bowling coach of the national side, followed by a similar role with Bangladesh.
Streak was also associated with Indian domestic cricket team Uttar Pradesh and he also worked with Indian Premier League teams Kolkata Knight Riders and Gujarat Lions.
He also became Zimbabwe's head coach in October 2016 after replacing Dav Whatmore, tasked to help his national team qualify for the 2019 World Cup in England, which they failed to do.
Streak and his coaching staff, including former South Africa cricketer and batting coach Lance Klusener, voluntarily gave up one year's salaries for helping the Zimbabwe cricketers to face the challenge of pay cuts for the players.
In April 2021, Streak was handed an eight-year ban by the International Cricket Council after he was charged with and admitted to breaching five codes of the ICC anti-corruption code, which included payment in bitcoins from a potential corruptor.
Streak accepted "full responsibility" of breaching the ICC code but said he was not involved in fixing any matches.