Former New Zealand quick Heath Davis comes out as gay

Davis opened up about his "lonely" experience but said a move to Auckland in the late 1990s helped

Heath Davis of New Zealand A bowls against England during the tour match at Victoria Park, Wanganui, January 30, 1997

Heath Davis played five Tests and 11 ODIs between 1994 and 1997  •  Allsport/Getty Images

Former New Zealand fast bowler Heath Davis has come out as gay. He is the first male international cricketer from his country to do so.
In a documentary series for The Spinoff called "Scratched: Aotearoa's Lost Sporting Legends", Davis opened up about his sexuality and the "lonely" experience of living separate lives on and off the field until he moved from Wellington to Auckland.
"The first tour to England [in 1994], I was starting to discover myself, was going to a few bars and things privately to see what life was… well, you are on the other side of the world, no one is going to know you," he said. "I left that part of my life there. There was a lot of that, just keeping your personal life separate.
"It was lonely. Going to saunas and seedy places to get sex because you didn't want to be seen and that sort of stuff. I had systems and people in place where I could talk about these things but I didn't feel comfortable."
Davis, renowned as one of the fastest bowlers New Zealand has ever produced, but who struggled for control, played five Tests and 11 ODIs between 1994 and 1997. After being dropped by New Zealand for the last time in 1997 following a tour of Australia, Davis opted to move to Auckland.
"All the stars aligned to move," he said. "Everyone in Auckland knew I was gay; in the team it didn't seem to be that big an issue. Maybe some of the young ones if you're sharing a room with them or something, but just petty s**t. Things I thought might have been issues weren't really. I just felt free."
Davis moved to Brisbane in 2004 and in 2009 had to have part of his foot amputated after a forklift truck accident.
Overall, in his Test career, he took 17 wickets in five matches with a best of 5 for 63 against Sri Lanka and claimed 11 wickets in ODIs.
Former England wicketkeeper Steven Davies became the first male international cricketer to publicly come out as gay in early 2011.