Heath Streak obituary: Zimbabwe quick bowler was key participant in profitable – however politically charged – period

Queen Elizabeth II, Heath Streak, Moin Khan and Sachin Tendulkar


Heath Streak was in his prime at the 1999 World Cup in England, rubbing shoulders with cricketing royalty such as India legend Sachin Tendulkar, and actual royalty in Queen Elizabeth II

Heath Streak, who has died aged 49, will be remembered as Zimbabwe’s best bowler of all time, and a key player during their most successful spell in international cricket.

Streak, who had been having treatment for cancer, remains his country’s highest wicket-taker in both Test and one-day international cricket.

Like many Zimbabwean players of that era, his playing days were often overshadowed by wide-ranging political issues.

But after a series of coaching appointments at home and abroad, his career was effectively ended in 2021 with a ban from the International Cricket Council (ICC) following corruption charges.

From farm boy to Test bowler

Heath Streak celebrates the wicket of England's Mike Atherton at Lord's in 2000
In 65 Tests, Streak took 216 wickets – more than twice the number of any other Zimbabwe player – with a further 239 scalps in 189 ODIs

Heath Hilton Streak was born in…