closet door bustdown

Former cricketer Heath Davis comes out, describes living double life in ‘saunas and seedy places’

Former New Zealand cricket player Heath Davis has publicly come out as gay, making him the first male international cricketer in the country to do so.

In a new documentary series for The Spinoff titled Scratched: Aotearoa’s Lost Sporting Legends, 50-year-old Davis speaks about the loneliness and isolation of leading a double life on and off the field for so many years.

“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.”

Davis was also refreshingly candid about his experience of fulfilling his desires in dark corners.

“It was lonely,” he recalled. “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.”

After Davis moved to Auckland in 1997, his whole world changed for the better.

“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, now 50, moved to Brisbane in 2004.

He is one of a very few men to come out in the sport, after English player Steven Davies did so in 2011.