Who Killed Bob Woolmer!!! is some Pakistani player ?
Jamaican police are interviewing every member of the Pakistan World Cup cricket team as part of the investigation into what they called the "suspicious" death of coach Bob Woolmer."The interviews are taking up to an hour for each player," Pakistan team manager Talat Ali told Reuters."The impression being created by the media is that the Pakistan team are being interviewed as suspects. That is not the case. They are being interviewed as others are."

Team spokesman Pervez Mir said later that the team would be flying to Montego Bay as scheduled on Thursday (Friday morning Australian time). Reuters were told that two backroom staff were to remain in Kingston to liaise with police working on the inquiry.The team were due to fly home to Pakistan from Montego Bay on Saturday (local time).

This question is agitating the minds of not only the cricket loving fraternity but all humanists in the world. This India-born English cricketer, who was earlier coach of the South African team, later became the coach of the Pakistan cricket. A soft spoken, honest and sincere man, whose one and only concern was to make his team win the World Cup once again. With that single most aim, he went to the Caribbean Islands, knowing not what fate was in store for him there. Generally known as a 'Lap-top Coach', Woolmer was reported to record day-to-day events in his diary. Aaj Tak channel brought out the recordings in his diary, ever since the World Cup preliminary match took off from March 13 onwards, till Saturday. He was found dead in his hotel room in Kingston, Jamaica on the night of Sunday.

The Pakistani cricket coach Bob Woolmer died, tragically, the morning after Pakistan’s shameful defeat at the hands of the Irish team. After days of speculation on whether he died of natural causes or committed suicide, the Jamaican police ruled Woolmer’s death a homicide, citing the cause of death as "asphyxiation as a result of manual strangulation."
Bob Woolmer, the murdered coach of the Pakistan cricket team, was probably killed by someone he knew, police revealed yesterday.

As the investigation into the 58-year-old's death stepped up amid worldwide media interest, the veteran Scottish officer who is second-in-command of the case told The Herald that Jamaican authorities are liaising closely with the international cricketing body's anti-corruption team, and that he has "some theories" as to the "shocking" and "sinister" murder.

Reports that Woolmer, who was strangled, was preparing to blow the whistle on match-fixing in a book he was writing - a proof copy of which has vanished, according to the spokesman for the Pakistan team - circulated widely yesterday.

We mourn the loss of a great cricketer, an excellent coach, and an adventurous spirit.  He came to Pakistan in 2004, the post-9/11 and bang in the middle of the "shock and awe" era, not paying any heed to stereotypical notions of safety (or the lack of it) to take on a challenge that was close to his heart.  What went on in the dressing room or behind the scenes will never be fully known, but from all accounts, this man was liked and respected by most of the Pakistani team.  Moreoever, he was loved by a lot of Pakistani fans for his commitment to taking Pakistan to the top of the international rankings. 

We also want to follow this story because we want to know who did it and why.  Mostly because we hope it will clear the name of the Pakistani team who are being deemed guilty by association.  Also because we think this death may have causes that carry deeper and wider into the world of cricket than Pakistan's loss to a team who played well. 

For Bob Woolmer, controversy was strongly entangled with his love for the game of cricket and his tendency to excel at whatever aspect of the game he chose to follow. His tenure with his native team, England, was marred first with a defection to Kerry Packer’s World Cricket Series and then effectively capped out when he joined the rebel South African tour of 1981-1982. Woolmer retired in 1984 following an injury and that’s when his coaching career started. As the coach for Warwickshire, Woolmer fast gained international attention as a coach and was picked up by the South African team in 1994. Not leaving controversy behind, Woolmer took some heat for backing Hansie Cronje (South Africa) when Cronje was charged with graft allegations and match fixing. Though Cronje faced his downfall because of the match fixing scandal, Woolmer was never implicated. Woolmer was also known for his controversial antics like sending Cronje to the crease with a two-way radio for shouting out mid-play instructions to him. He was also regarded as one of the most advanced coaching minds due to his farsighted adoption of computers for analyzing and critiquing player performance way ahead of others. 

-----Many theories are flying around and many more will surface until the police make a definitive arrest. The Jamaican Police have a “few definite lines of inquiry” but haven’t ruled on any specific motive or suspect yet. The main conspiracy theories flying around are (a) the easy one, that someone from within the Pakistan cricket team killed the coach over a disagreement, (b) the scandalous, that Woolmer was directly or indirectly involved with match fixing and ended up paying up with his life, and (c) the popular stereotype, that an enraged, violent Pakistani fan found his way into Woolmer’s room in the dead of night and strangled him. Given the sheer size of Bob Woolmer, the police haven’t ruled out multiple attackers, giving an extra-violent touch to what is already a horrific and vile act. ``Because Bob was a large man, it would have taken some significant force to subdue him, but of course at this stage we do not know how many people were in the room,'' Deputy Police Commissioner Mark Shields told reporters. ``It could be one or more people involved in this murder.'' He added, “We have some theories of what may have happened, but it's too early to go public with them.''

-----While the Jamaican Police have yet to rule on anything, the scandalous theory, of Woolmer dying directly or indirectly as a result of some mix up in a match fixing scandal has gained the most traction. Geo TV Pakistan aired unconfirmed reports that the Jamaican Police have a man in custody who has been seen visiting several members of Pakistani, Sri Lankan, and Indian cricket teams, at the least. Geo TV implied that this particular man has some monetary interest in match outcomes, without necessarily saying that he has anything to do with determining said outcomes. The ICC, the international governing body of cricket said Friday it would investigate whether match-fixing was a motive. ``Our people from the anti-corruption and security unit will cooperate with the Jamaica police, they're working with them already,'' Malcolm Speed, ICC’s CEO told Britain's Sky TV. ``If there is a link we want to know about it and we will deal with it.'' 

ICC CEO Malcolm Speed 

Even so, what would a betting cartel or match fixing mafia have against Woolmer? Did he fix the Pakistan-Ireland match so that Pakistan would lose and resultantly upset the betting cartel that had lots of money on Pakistan winning? Was he going to blow the whistle on someone involved in match fixing or other illegal betting who found out about Woolmer’s intentions and nipped them in the bud? Did he get into a fight with someone over a pay up that couldn’t or didn’t happen and ended up paying with his life?

Former Pakistani cricketer Sarfraz Nawaz, known for his blunt talk, has speculated that Woolmer’s death was the result of whatever he was going to write in an upcoming book. Pakistan team spokesman Pervez Jamil Mir said Woolmer was upset that galleys of his book had disappeared. ``Bob told me the proofs had been misplaced and he was very disturbed.'' Mir said. ``I don't know what was in the book but that was his only copy at the time.”

Woolmer’s family was quick to dispel all such notions. ``To the best of the family's knowledge, there is absolutely nothing to suggest Bob was involved in match-fixing,'' his agent, Michael Cohen, said Friday, reading a statement outside the Woolmer family home near Cape Town, South Africa. He was flanked by Woolmer's widow, Gill, and their sons, Dale and Russell. "Contrary to reports, they can confirm there is nothing in any book Bob had written that would explain this situation and there were no threats received," he added. 
While that may be the case, whoever strangled Woolmer was known to him or otherwise trumped the entry mechanisms. The hotel found no evidence of any other key card being used to open the door. There were no signs of forced entry, nothing was taken from the room, nor was anything disturbed. One would think that someone from an organized crime ring would at least remove Woolmer’s laptop which could have held incriminating evidence or take away Woolmer’s cell phone which could contain phone numbers that he should not have had on him. It wasn’t a brawl either because nobody heard or saw anything. Danish Kaneria was asleep in the room next door and says he didn’t hear anything. The West Indies captain Brian Lara was in the room right across the hall, he didn’t hear anything either. There were obviously other people in rooms close by and if it had been a big gang of attackers who got into an argument with Bob Woolmer and ended up violently strangling him, someone would have heard or seen something. 

Forensics Under Fire 

The forensics team would play a vital role in this case but the Indian born doctor who performed the autopsy was heavily criticized by other Jamaican pathologists. The President of the Jamaican Association of Clinical Pathologists said that the autopsy was not handled properly. "The final conclusion of this being a manual strangulation, I would not expect the first word to be inconclusive. Maybe they just didn't handle the thing properly," he told a local newspaper. "Something like strangulation is clear-cut. Here is a gentleman of fair complexion. I would expect that great force would be employed to strangle, so there would be bruises, scratches on the neck or on the skin. That should be pretty clear cut," he added. He, however, cautioned people from criticising Dr. Seshaiah for producing an inconclusive report in the first instance. "Probably he has a way of how he operates. Probably he wanted everything, including the toxicology tests results, before he revealed anything." Seshaiah, 65, from Andhra Pradesh, had moved to Jamaica 12 years back and is now working as a government pathologist.

Still, the police have finger printed all those in proximity of Bob Woolmer, including the entire Pakistani team. They have also taken DNA samples. The Pakistani spokespeople are fighting the clouds of doubt with all their might by saying this is routine procedure and the DNA and fingerprinting was done to identify people other than the Pakistani team who came into contact with Woolmer. They are emphasizing that nobody in the Pakistani team is under suspicion. It is widely believed that Woolmer was involved in an argument with the Pakistani team members while returning back to the team hotel on the bus, after their shocking defeat to Ireland. However, the argument faded out as they reached the foyer and went to their rooms at the Pegasus hotel in Kingston, where Woolmer was found dead the next morning.

-----Five days after his death, Woolmer's room remains cordoned off. The rooms around it are occupied, but several guests have asked to move to other floors. The Irish captain Trent Johnston has been losing sleep, having been just four doors away from Woolmer’s room. "It's sort of spooky. There wasn't too much sleep I had last night after the press conference where they escalated the investigation to the level they have," Johnston said. "It's lock your door and that sort of stuff," he was quoted as saying by The Sydney Morning Herald. 

It is really sad that the circumstances of his death have taken away from the celebration of a grand and colorful life, which is what a man like Woolmer would have liked to see. We hope that the culprit is found and brought to justice without delay so we can move on and let Woolmer’s soul rest in peace. We also pray that the culprit has no connection with the Pakistani team or even the Pakistani nation, as our team and country cannot withstand any more controversy!


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