A New Zealand cult hero has become the country’s first male cricketer to come out as gay.
Heath Davis, 50, played five Test matches and 11 one-day internationals for the Black Caps between 1994 and 1997.
He was known for his express pace but erratic accuracy with the ball. For a period he was widely considered the most feared fast bowler in New Zealand, and his highlights feature short balls making batters duck and dive out of the way.
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His most famous YouTube video is, unfortunately, titled “worst first ball in Test cricket history” – showing his first ever Test delivery flying wide past the batter and wicketkeeper.
Davis retired from professional cricket in 2004 and later moved to Brisbane, where a workplace accident resulted in his foot being amputated.
In a documentary series by The Spinoff titled, “Scratched: Aotearoa’s Lost Sporting Legends”, Davis opens up publicly about his sexuality.
He reveals while on tour with the Black Caps he would regularly venture out on his own, “going to saunas and seedy places to get sex because you didn’t want to be seen”.
“It was lonely,” Davis said, in becoming the first professional male cricketer from New Zealand to come out publicly.
“On the other side of the world no one is going to know you. So I went out to Soho and a couple of places by myself, did what I needed to do, and left that part of my life there.
“I was repressing it. I wasn’t leading a gay life, I wasn’t out in Wellington.
“I just wanted a normal life. There was a part of me that needed to break free and I wanted a partner to love. That was really all.”
Davis’ parents are religious, and he has now found religion and is “living single” in Australia.
“I’m seeking Christ now. I’m living single, part of a men’s Christian group,” he said.
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