ONE can only feel for Heath Streak.
This is the man that the global cricket community woke up mourning yesterday after news swept across the globe on Tuesday night that he had passed away.
It was difficult not to believe the news.
The sources looked authentic and from his inner circle of friends and former teammates who are expected to know.
Zimbabwe all-rounder, Sean Williams, turned to Twitter, now called X, to spread his message.
“No words can explain what you and your family have done for mine and many others. Our hearts are broken, you leave behind a beautiful family and a legacy for us to live up to!
“You will be missed, we love you dearly. Rest in peace Streaky.”
Then, we had Henry Olonga, a former teammate of Streak.
“Sad news coming through that Heath Streak has crossed to the other side.
“RIP Zim Cricket legend. The greatest all-rounder we produced. It was a pleasure playing with you. See you on the other side when my bowling spell comes to an end…”
Given his international profile, it was expected that the news would filter around the globe and it did just that.
Indian cricket legend, Virender Sehwag said:
“Extremely sad hearing about the passing away of Heath Streak. He was very competetive and one of Zimbabwe’s best ever all-rounder.
“Condolences to his family and friends. Sad to know that quite a few who I got to play against are no more. Om Shanti.”
And, Indian Premier League franchise, Chennai Super Kings, said:
“A Streak of Success that is etched in the history of Zimbabwe Cricket! Condolences to Heath Streak’s friends and family.”
Then, amid all this madness, Heath’s mother, Karen, told Zimpapers Sports how shocked the family were because the former Chevrons skipper was alive.
“Heath is not well, but he is fine. He is here at the farm walking about and cracking jokes.
“As a family we are disturbed by the news and the phone has not stopped ringing, considering who Heath is. I am picking up the phones so that I put the record straight.”
We know that Heath hasn’t been feeling well of late but to claim that he is dead, when he is not, is something that is not acceptable.
He has been a brave fighter against cancer and it’s the same bravery we used to see when he had bat bin hand or when he was confronting the most destructive of batsmen in the world.
He was never one to shy away from battle and the reason he became very popular is that he gave everything for the cause of his team and his country.
It’s sad that in today’s world, something which is not true can spread very fast, especially on social media where it’s free-for-all.
Because there are no regulations, on social media, it becomes difficult for checks and balances to be applied.
In the end, we now have this unfortunate scenario where even legends like Streak can be mourned before they are dead.