It is indeed a sad story that is emerging from Jamaica, where the Cricket World Cup show is on. The death of Bob Woolmer, coach of the Pakstani Cricket team on last Sunday, a day after Pakistan lost their match to Ireland and got eliminated from the contest, has now been officially declared as “Death under Suspicious Circumstances”.

According to the available information, Woolmer had been poisoned and also some marks were found on his neck.

Was he poisoned and also strangled? If so what was the role of the security at the Hotel? Who could be behind the murder? are some of the questions that linger.

Though there have been several speculative theories going round, one interesting angle which needs to be pursued is whether there was a “Match Fixing” scandal behind the Pakistani loss and if Woolmer was expected to blow it open jeopardising the interests of whoever was involved.

Some have been stating that he was writing a book in which he was discussing the issue of Match fixing in which Hansie Cronier, the captain of the South African team was involved during the coaching stint of Woolmer with South Africa. The cumulative experience of Woolmer in these two cases could very well be an explosive inforrmation that could have been detrimental to many if he wanted to speak out.

 There is a history of match fixing with Pakistani players. Currently, Inzamam was an uneasy captain for some time and now with the drug scandal also hitting the headlines, there were several internal enemies to Inzamam and Pakistani cricket. This could perhaps have created a fertile ground for some match fixers to fish in troubled waters. 

Probably this investigation in Jamaica will have international ramifications from which even ICC will not be left untarnished.

The pall of gloom that sorrounds  this Cricket World Cup 2007 could dampen the spirits of all participating teams .

With the confirmation that Woolmer’s death was indeed a cold blooded murder, there is need for ICC to declare a mourning through out this world cup and dedicate it to the memory of Bob Woolmer, who distinguished himself as a coach of repute despite the reverses he might have suffered with the Paksitani experience.

I also suggest that all victorious teams should be restrained in their celebrations as a mark of respect to the departed soul.

 Naavi

march 21, 2006 

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