Cricket: Heath Davis becomes first NZ male cricketer to publicly acknowledge he is gay

Heath Davis played five Tests for New Zealand between 1994 and 1997. Photo / Getty Images

Three decades after his test debut, Heath Davis has become the first male New Zealand international cricketer to come out as gay.

Davis played five tests and 11 ODIs for the Black Caps and had a lengthy first-class career in domestic cricket as a fiery pace bowler.

Speaking to the Spinoff, Davis described a “lonely” experience in the game, leaving his teammates on nights out.

“I was a bit afraid of being out in Wellington, being able to take my partner to the game.”

Davis said moving from Wellington to Auckland provided a freer experience.

“Everyone in Auckland knew I was gay, in the team, but it didn’t seem to be that big an issue,” he said.

He also says he once played a first-class cricket match while high on LSD.

“I had taken a trip, yes. The mistake was telling people; and people that knew then came down on me

“I settled down later and did OK, but while it was peaking – not advisable.”

Davis, now 50, now lives in Brisbane and had a foot amputated following a workplace accident involving a forklift.

The tearaway quick made his Test debut against England at Headingley in 1994, alongside Gavin Larsen. Larsen said a player with Davis’ talent would be more likely to flourish today.

“I am in no doubt whatsoever that if Heath was emerging now as a guy in his late-teens, early-20s and he had the sort of support structures that are available now in professional cricket then we would have something very, very special. “

Davis played just five test matches, finishing against Zimbabwe, at Harare, in 1997. He closed his Test career with a bowling average of 29.35 and best figures of 5/63 coming against a touring Sri Lankan side in 1997.


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