Heath Streak

Heath Hilton Streak (born 16 March 1974) is a Zimbabwean cricket coach and former cricketer who played for and captained the Zimbabwe national cricket team. By his statistical record, he is the best bowler to have played for Zimbabwe. He is the only Zimbabwean bowler to have taken over 100 Test wickets and one of only four Zimbabwean bowlers to have taken over 100 ODI wickets. He was the head coach of Zimbabwe until early 2018 and was the bowling coach for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League in 2018.

Heath Streak
Personal information
Full nameHeath Hilton Streak
Born (1974-03-16) 16 March 1974
Bulawayo, Rhodesia
NicknameStreaky, Stack
BowlingRight-arm fast-medium
RelationsDenis Streak (father)
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 20)1 December 1993 v Pakistan
Last Test20 September 2005 v India
ODI debut (cap 34)10 November 1993 v South Africa
Last ODI31 August 2005 v New Zealand
ODI shirt no.9
Domestic team information
2007/08–2008/09Ahmedabad Rockets
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 65 189 175 309
Runs scored 1,990 2,942 5,684 4,088
Batting average 22.35 28.28 26.31 25.71
100s/50s 1/11 0/13 6/27 0/14
Top score 127* 79* 131 90*
Balls bowled 13,559 9,468 31,117 14,741
Wickets 216 239 499 385
Bowling average 28.14 29.82 28.76 28.55
5 wickets in innings 7 1 17 1
10 wickets in match 0 0 2 0
Best bowling 6/73 5/32 7/55 5/32
Catches/stumpings 17/– 46/– 58/– 75/–
Source: CricInfo, 24 December 2018

In September 2018, Streak submitted an application to the court to have Zimbabwe Cricket liquidated in relation to outstanding debts.[1]

Domestic career

In 1995/96, Streak played in the same Matabeleland team as his 46-year-old father Denis in the final of the Lonrho Logan Cup against Mashonaland Country Districts; this was the first instance of a father and son playing in the same first-class match for more than thirty years.

On 25 April 2007, Streak resigned as Warwickshire captain, saying captaining the side was affecting his on field abilities. He was replaced as captain by Darren Maddy. At the end of the 2007 season he left Warwickshire citing family reasons.[2]

At the end of the year of 2007, he joined the Ahmedabad Rockets in the Indian Cricket League. He played two seasons in the ICL along with appearing in the Hong Kong sixes.

In 2009, he cut his ties with ICL, and in that August was appointed as the bowling coach of Zimbabwean national team. He was also given the responsibility of working with the young Zimbabwean fast bowlers and for franchise cricket.

International career

Early career

He made his Test debut in Zimbabwe's tour of Pakistan 1993/1994 making his mark by taking 8 wickets in the 2nd Test at Rawalpindi ( 9–14 December 1993). In the match, Streak won the Player of the series award, took 22 wickets at an average of 13.54.

Rising through ranks

He bettered his best bowling figures in 1995 when Pakistan toured Zimbabwe taking 6/90 in the first Test at Harare. In 2000/2001, he won 2-man of the series awards, first in Zimbabwe's tour of England and then in Bangladesh's tour of Zimbabwe.

He along with Andy Flower set the record for the highest 7th wicket partnership for Zimbabwe in ODIs(130)[3]


He retired from international cricket in October 2005 to become captain of Warwickshire County Cricket Club having previously played county cricket for Hampshire. He also captains his fellow exiled players from Zimbabwe in the Red Lions team, which plays charity games in England.


Heath Streak claimed in an interview in The Observer that he was faced with moral challenges in captaining Zimbabwe. He said that he was asked to falsely tell white players that they were not talented enough and were to be replaced by black players.[4]

Sport24 asked: You have been accused of being a racist by one of the suits. Your response?

Heath Streak: I think Zimbabwe Cricket have far too often tried to use the race card as a way to deviate from the actual issues of poor governance. They need to start looking at themselves in the mirror. All the players I have coached and the people around me know me well enough. I don’t even need to try to vindicate myself or qualify why I’m not a racist. For me, the allegations of racism (by ZC board chairperson Tavengwa Mukuhlani) are actually laughable. Not only do I speak Ndebele, my wife and I have a black foster son. I was pretty upset by Mukuhlani’s comments and it’s something I’m considering taking action against in the future. The statements against me are not only defamatory, but they are also damaging. I have spent a lifetime building my reputation and for him to say something like that publicly is not acceptable. I take it extremely seriously. I agree 100 percent with Ray Price who said: “Racism is not the problem in Zimbabwean cricket. Bad cricket management is the problem.” It’s now about getting the correct personnel involved and people with the requisite skills to be able to run an organisation as big as Zimbabwe Cricket. I’m pretty hopeful that this episode will prove to be the catalyst that brings people’s attention to the changes that need to occur within Zimbabwean cricket. Throughout sports organisations, you definitely need a balance between former players, who understand the needs of professional players, and people with good corporate acumen and proven track records in the business world. We need more cricketers involved in decision-making at the top level and on the board. I would like to believe that decision-making in the future will be in the game’s best interest. It would ensure that there is a pathway for the next generation of cricketers. My son loves his cricket and, if he’s good enough to play at a professional level, I want him to be able to have the opportunity to do so in Zimbabwe and for his country of birth. In the past, cricketers have had to leave Zimbabwe and we have lost them forever.

Coaching career

In August 2009, Streak was appointed as the bowling coach of the Zimbabwe national cricket team. He was also given the responsibility of working with the young Zimbabwean fast bowlers and for franchise cricket.

In 2010 along with his former teammate Grant Flower, Streak became a supporting coach of Zimbabwe under former English cricketer Alan Butcher. Flower became batting coach and Streak was named as bowling coach.

In 2013, Streak's contract was not renewed for financial reasons. Zimbabwe Cricket had offered Streak a consultancy role but they could not guarantee him a set number of working days or specific pay which forced him to stay out of the preparations for the Bangladesh series. Finances permitting at his franchise in Bulawayo, the Matabeleland Tuskers, he remained coach there. He was appointed Bangladesh's bowling coach in May 2014 until 2016.

In October 2016, Streak was appointed head coach of the Zimbabwe national cricket team. He was tasked with ensuring Zimbabwe qualify for the 2019 World Cup. Zimbabwe failed to qualify for the World Cup, and Streak was forced to resign in early 2018. He continued on in his role as bowling coach for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.[5]


Preceded by
Andy Flower
Zimbabwean national cricket captain
Succeeded by
Brian Murphy
Preceded by
Alistair Campbell
Zimbabwean national cricket captain
Succeeded by
Tatenda Taibu
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