By Sports Reporter
THE family of former Zimbabwe cricket team captain and coach Heath Streak’s has appealed for privacy after confirming that he is receiving treatment in South Africa after being diagnosed with stage-four colon and liver cancer.
The 49-year-old legend played 65 Tests and 189 ODIs for Zimbabwe between 1993 and 2005. He also had several coaching stints in different capacities with the senior national side.
In a statement released on Sunday, Streak’s family said contrary to speculation that the former fast bowler was on his deathbed; he was in good spirits and receiving specialist treatment neighbouring South Africa.
“Heath has cancer and is undergoing treatment under one of the most respected oncologists in South Africa. He remains in good spirits and will continue to fight this disease in a similar vein to that which his opponents faced during his revered days on the cricket field.
“The family hopes that you understand and respect their wish for this to remain a private family matter, and thank you for your prayers and good wishes.
“There will be no further official statements regarding his health at this time. Any news that becomes public should be regarded as rumour.”
The update by the Streak family comes after David Coltart, who served as Zimbabwe’s minister of education, sport, arts and culture from 2009 to 2013 appealed for prayers for the stricken Streak on Twitter.
“This is a call to prayer warriors in #Zimbabwe and beyond. Heath Streak, one of the greatest cricketers our nation has ever produced, is extremely ill and needs our prayers. Please could we all be in prayer for him and his family,” wrote Coltart on Twitter.
Zimbabwe Test captain Sean Williams, a close friend of Streak told Cricbuzz on Saturday: “Heath has colon and liver cancer (Stage 4). All I know at this stage is Heath’s immediate family was called to go to him in South Africa and I am not sure on any details thereof.
“I did message Heath and he did respond but I’m sure at this stage the family will want privacy. It sounds like the cancer is spreading pretty quick because last week he was fishing.
“Heath is my mentor and did a lot of good things for a lot of people and basically saved my life and career. We just pray he will be OK.”
Streak is currently serving an eight year-ban from the game for breaching the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption code in 2021.