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Was Pakistan Cricket Coach Killed By Fans?

From Australia’s Herald Sun:

Photo

Why did Bob Woolmer die?

Jon Pierik and Robert Craddock

March 24, 2007 12:00am

WHEN Bob Woolmer sat in the dressingroom watching his Pakistan side painfully extinguished from the World Cup on Sunday, he heard a disturbing chant outside.

“Death to Woolmer . . . death to Pakistan,” shouted irate Pakistani spectators, but Woolmer did not even turn his head.

“Death threats,” he used to say, “I have had a million of them. They don’t faze me. It’s part of the job.”

Woolmer did not think he was invincible but he saw no reason to think his life was under threat.

In the crazy world of Pakistani cricket, players may have their houses stoned, their names rubbished, their reputations torn down . . . but murder is never part of the equation.

Or it wasn’t until Woolmer was strangled in his room at the Pegasus Hotel 18 hours later.

The Pakistan team took 90 minutes to digest the pain of their three-wicket loss to Ireland at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica, before assembling on the team bus for a sombre ride back to the hotel.

It is believed an argument took place between Woolmer and some team members on the bus, but it faded out as they reached the foyer and went to their rooms.

Woolmer stayed in his room – No. 375 on the 12th floor, just across the hall from West Indies captain Brian Lara – for the night.

As he often did, he had room service, numbly digesting the loss by sending some emails, including one to his wife Gill.

In the last email sent on his computer, which is now in the possession of police, Woolmer said the loss, as devastating as it was, did not cut as deeply as that of South Africa in the 1999 World Cup in England. The email was sent at about 3am, Jamaican time.

Then, sometime that morning, he was strangled to death.

A large man with immense natural strength, Woolmer was more than capable of defending himself, which is why police have yet to rule out there being more than one attacker.

Woolmer was found in his underpants and the suspicion is the attack may have taken place early in the morning just before or just after he had a bath.

There was no sign of a struggle and nor was the door prized open, raising the suspicion that Woolmer knew his assailant.

Someone moved Woolmer’s body from the bathroom, where there was vomit and faeces, to the lounge area.

When a cleaning lady heard no response to her knock at about 10am, she opened the door and saw Woolmer lying on the ground and immediately phoned reception…

That Woolmer was strangled rather than stabbed may indicate it was a crime of emotion – and cricket-related – rather than the work of a hitman.

The notion that Woolmer could have been the unlucky victim of random Kingston violence also has flaws because the serial criminals who inhabit the streets of the city know they will be caught on camera the instant they walk into the Pegasus Hotel. They are renowned for attacking people in car parks, alleys on beaches and anywhere dark, not heavily guarded hotels.

The notion that Woolmer may have had a falling out with his players has not been ruled out. He had grown intolerant of their inconsistency and mysterious ways and had become increasingly distant from them. In the months before the World Cup they had several team meetings without him.

Close friends of Woolmer are asking whether he was going to blow the whistle on match-fixing within the team. Did he know too much?

If Woolmer’s death was the extreme action of a fan, it would take fanaticism in cricket to a sickening new low…

This is the first article that I have seen that has dared to suggest what seems like a very likely explanation of Mr. Woolmer’s murder.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, March 23rd, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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