Some wounds never heal!
LOCATED in the Turk Mine area, roughly 60km north of Bulawayo, the Streak residence is sure to be a hive of activity come Christmas morning.
Heath and his wife Nadine will have their hands full as their oldest daughter, Holly, will be in country accompanied by her fiancé, Sam. The two are expected to wed sometime next year. “Not sure if I can call it a quiet Christmas this time around, but my daughter Holly is coming from the United Kingdom with her future husband (Sam) and his family,” said Heath Streak.
“We are just going to try show them around Zimbabwe and take the opportunity to get to know each other.
“Hopefully, we won’t spend too much time in queues, for fuel and other things,” he said. As the Streak Christmas plans begin to unfold, one wonders about the state of mind of the 44-year-old through all these festivities. After all, it looks like the former Chevrons gaffer is most certain to have a remarkable end to an otherwise unremarkable year.
It was around this time that he had the world in the palm of his hand as the Chevrons stood on the cusp of history. They were scheduled to play a Boxing Day Test against South Africa.
Memories are still fresh on the mind of the legendary paceman. “I remember it all quite fondly; we had a practice session on Christmas day, which was followed by prematch preparations and staff meetings,” said Heath Streak.
“We even had a Christmas dinner with the team later that night.“But it was a bit dull because most of the guys had not been paid yet and they were a bit stressed.
“Fortunately, the excitement of the Test that lay ahead saw us through,” he said. Unfortunately, that was to be as high as things got as the Chevrons lost that Test, inside two days, by an innings and 120 runs. The team then failed to qualify for next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup a few months later. Failures that not only cost the 44-year-old his job, but also saw him go on a 10-month hiatus from the game.
To this very day, the wounds are yet to heal as Streak is still to find closure on a year that promised so much yet delivered nothing at all.
“It’s quite difficult to find closure when you are still to get paid,” said Streak.
“You hear that ZC staff are getting paid into foreign accounts, the game is still getting administered poorly, many of the provincial association leagues are yet to start and all these things add on to the stress,” he said. Despite life dealing the 44-year-old a blow for most part of 2018, Streak refuses to give up and he has tried to give back as much as he has taken.
The former Zimbabwean international is presently taking both Zimbabwe Cricket and the Sports and Recreation Commission to task, going as far as suing the former for his outstanding wages. Streak refuses to see the World Cup qualifiers as utter failure. “Contrary to popular belief, I think the qualifiers were an enjoyable experience until, maybe, the last couple of games.
“We played some good cricket right throughout the tournament and we had some memorable games, some tight ones and the support from the fans was truly amazing. “It’s just unfortunate that certain decisions went against us in the West Indies game, and we failed to get the desired result in the rain-affected United Arab Emirates game,” he said. legendary now, most people are not aware of the softer side to this gentle giant.
“My greatest motivation is my mother, Felicity Machakaire. She works tirelessly and selflessly for the family.
“Sports stars like LeBron James and Cristiano SIKANDAR RAZA hasn’t moved on from Zimbabwe’s failure to qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup in England and Wales next year. Neither has Craig Ervine. Eight months on since March, 22, 2018 — the day Zimbabwe lost to UAE by three runs in an ICC Cricket qualifying match and relegated the 32-year-old to emotional purgatory — Raza, who was voted player of the qualifying tournament, is still hurting.
“I have not (moved on), brother; it’s just that I don’t talk about it as it sounds like a broken record now,” he said.
“However, our game versus UAE must not take away anything from all the good work and performances we had done and achieved prior,” said the all-rounder. Ervine was the man on strike when Zimbabwe needed six runs off the last ball to beat UAE and qualify for the World Cup. He has struggled to move on too.
“It will be hard for anybody to foregt what happened and it will be part of us for years to come,” said the 33-year-old left handed batsaman.
“It’s always going to be at the back of your mind when ever certain conversations come up.
“There is no way of escaping it...i feel the best way to that is winning,” Ervine said. Much like his former gaffer Heath Streak and the rest of his teammates, Raza’s nightmare began on this very day last year.
Then, the Chevrons were a merry bunch (pun intended), excited about Ronaldo, who are talented but have insane work ethics, also inspire me.
“My girlfriend Naslin Negomo also plays volleyball for Harare City; both of us being sportspeople, keeps things exciting.
“I am her biggest fan and she is mine; we playing a historic pink-ball four-day Boxing Day Test against South Africa in Port Elizabeth.
It’s a little bit different for Raza this time around as the World Cup heartbreak still lingers.
“It would have been a merrier Christmas (had Zimbabwe qualified for the World Cup),” said Raza.
Ervine said he is excited to be spending Christmas at home.
“The excitement of the historic pink ball test last year was enjoyable.
“This Christmas at home with family and friends after a few years will be just as enjoyable and a little more relaxing than last year i would say,” he said. Raza believes the year hasn’t been all gloom and doom for the national cricket side.
The Chevrons recorded their first Test away win in 17 years when they beat Bangladesh by 151 runs in the first Test of the two-match series in November. “Away win after 17-years is definitely a reason to smile about,” said Raza. In 2018 Zimbabwe played 26 ODIs recording five wins that came against Sri Lanka, Afghanistan (2), Hong Kong and Ireland.
In T20Is the team went winless in eight matches, but their biggest success remains the Tests where they drew 1-1 in a two-match series away to Bangladesh in November.
“Inconsistency in our results and performances is because of lack of international cricket,” Raza reckons.
“With the little we have and what we had, I am extremely proud and believe that the year was good for Zimbabwe Cricket. train together whenever possible,” he said.
Naslin is also happy for her boyfriend’s achievements.
“I am happy he is succeeding in his volleyball career, he works hard and deserves the best,” she said.
Heath Streak Sikandar Raza