Cut out by Zimbabwe, Heath Streak helps unearth Bangladesh pacers
After the cash-strapped Zimbabwe Cricket Board failed to renew his contract as the national team’s bowling coach in 2013, Heath Streak was forced to stay away from cricket. He finally returned to the game in 2014 when an opportunity arose to become the Bangladesh bowling coach.Updated: Mar 02, 2016, 10:29 IST
In 2013, former Zimbabwe captain and pace spearhead Heath Streak was left in the lurch after his cash-strapped cricket Board failed to renew his contract as the national team’s bowling coach, a role he had held for over four years.
Left with little to do, the former pacer was forced to stay away from cricket. He left for his family ranch in the Matabeleland province of Zimbabwe, where he tended to cattle and ran a safari programme.
He finally returned to the game in 2014 when an opportunity arose to become the Bangladesh bowling coach. And in the two years since he joined the coaching staff, the team has turned a new leaf, with a bunch of impressive seamers helping to produce some of their best performances.
To Streak’s credit, the side has unearthed a fine bowling attack headed by 20-year-old Mustafizur Rahman, considered the key behind Bangladesh’s steady rise since last year.
“I was just lucky,” says a modest Streak, who was a world class paceman at his peak. “Since arriving here, the bowlers that have made the cut for national side have been focused and ready to learn,” added the only Zimbabwe bowler to take over 100 Test wickets (216).
“Mustafizur was a raw find when he came in and has evolved into a fantastic bowler. And it’s not just him, my life became a lot easier since the captain Mashrafe Mortaza is also a bowler. The situation makes my work easier as what I try to tell the bowlers transcends onto the field seamlessly.”
During this phase, Bangladesh reached the quarterfinal of the 2015 World Cup. They went on to enjoy a successful run beating Pakistan, India and SA. The pacers played a vital role in all those contests with Mustafizur the pick of them after a sensational debut in the home ODI series against India.
Streak is a happy man today. His success with the Bangladesh team has earned him the job of a bowling consultant with Gujarat Lions.
“The offer came from Bangladesh at the right time for me then,” he says.