Former Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak has died of colon and liver cancer at the age of 49 on Sunday.
Streak was the all-time leading test wicket-taker for his country, bagging 216 wickets and scoring 1,990 runs in 65 tests between 1993-2005.
He had been undergoing treatment in Johannesburg.
“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,” his wife, Nadine, wrote on social media.
Streak was appointed Zimbabwe’s bowling coach after his retirement, followed by spells with Bangladesh and twice Indian Premier League champions Kolkata Knight Riders.
He returned to coach Zimbabwe in 2016 but resigned after his team failed to qualify for the 2019 World Cup.
In 2021, Streak was given an eight-year ban from cricket after admitting breaches of the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption code.
He took “full responsibility” for his actions but said he was never involved in any attempts to fix matches.
“This is a very sad day for Zimbabwe and a sad day for cricket as we on the one hand mourn the demise of a true great of our beautiful game and, on the other, celebrate the greatness of what Heath gave us,” Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani said in a statement.
“He played with passion, spirit and was nothing less than an inspirational figure who raised our flag high and touched lives within the sport and beyond.”