Bob Woolmer was murdered

The Ireland cricket team may have won through to the Super Eight round of the Cricket World Cup, but a huge shadow has just been thrown over the entire competition as the Jamaican police have just comfirmed one area of the speculation around the sudden death of Pakistan coach on March 18th, announcing that Bob Woolmer died “as a result of manual strangulation” and that a murder investigation has been launched. Adds ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed has said that the Cricket World Cup will continue Update Official police statement – “Our condolences go out to Gill, Bob’s widow and their sons, friends and members of the Pakistan team.”

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  • GavBelfast

    It is shocking and just very, very sad.

    It’s a difficult call now as to whether the tournament should continue – sport is a great diversion from real life, but from violent death?

  • Abdul Rahim

    Very “Inspector Morse”

  • susan

    The poor man. What a terrible end.

  • Token Dissent

    What a strange and tragic story. Who would have the motivation to do this? A disillusioned fan? Betting scandal? Or is this looking for reason where none can be found?

    Coaching Pakistan is the most difficult job on world cricket. Politics and competing groups of players are big factors.

    I think the tournament should go ahead, but it does make sport look utterly meaningless.

  • Liam Gordon


  • Blarney Army Cadet

    Lord have mercy on his soul.

  • AFRua

    Reports that he was writing an autobiography and it would expose betting scandals and match fixing. Police say some of the manuscript is missing….

  • esmereldavillalobos

    What a truly awful thing to happen and a horrid way to die – poor Bob. I can’t imagine what his family are going through. Who cares who wins now?

    The stench that surrounds everything lends itself well to ‘normal’ Slugger however. Woolmer coached Cronje and Gibbs back in the day and Pakistan players have had a history of impropriety with bookmakers (Salim Malik, Ata-ur Rehman). Was he mixed up in something? No sign of a struggle, what happened? What is the motive? Who is the perp: disgruntled fan, seems unlikely; buisnessman, possible; team mate or staff member? Who knows? Who benefits?

    I’ve been one of cricket’s, especially Irish cricket’s, biggest cheerleaders here. I lay awake last night thinking “Did we really win that game?” Could Ireland really bowl out Pakistan for 132? The whole thing is beginning to stink.

    I hope I’m reading too much into it – maybe it is just an angry lone nut-job from Karachi who doesn’t like his side losing; I hope so. Cricket really cannot cope with another huge scandal so soon after the last one.

  • Cato

    I’m afraid I cannot subscribe to the theory that this was the work of a lone, crazed fan.
    I just do not believe that another recent Pakistan coach, Richard Pybus for example, would have met the same fate, regardless of how bad the result.
    I think it is quite obvious that his death is due to his close links with Hansie Cronje and the betting scandal.
    Whether that is because he refused to do as the Mumbai mafia asked, or because he, like Cronje, had been foolish enough to get involved with them, I really do not know.
    However, I do remember that he sat in on a South African team meeting where they apparently seriously discussed an offer to throw a ODI in return for cash.
    IF he is subsequently proven to have been involved in corruption, then I have no more sympathy for him than I did for Cronje (Rot in Peace)

  • Martin

    This sounds utterly pointless speculation but I would disagree slightly with Esmereldavillalobos.

    If the death of Woolmer was as a result of the Pak/Ire game then surely that would mean the WRONG result transpired against Ireland ie the disgruntled murderer bet on a decent Pakistan score/win and lost big time as the Irish performance upset his plans. Maybe there was a bet on the Pakistan lower order reaching x runs. Who knows. The look on the faces of Woolmer and the team after the game certainly seemed to me that they knew something had gone seriously wrong.

    Oh…sorry…this is pointless speculation…it could have been anyone for any reason. Sympathies to his family.

  • merrie

    Not wanting to be morbid, but if you go to either the BBC’s Hindi or Urdu sites:

    you will see two photos of Woolmer’s face which show a mark on his right cheek.

    I wonder why these photos weren’t shown on the English version of this report?

  • Token Disent

    Merrie – you have highlighted a very strange editoral decision by the BBC. These pictures are disturbing to the genral public, never mind the man’s friends and families.

    This case raises interesting questions about the difference in content and style across the spectrum of BBC outlets. Is this just a case of cultural differences, and a variance in sensiblities?

  • Cato

    I would have thought it is cultural sensibilities. I seem to remember as a four-year-old being particularly perturbed by watching Indira Gandhi being cremated.

  • merrie

    It is probably cultural differences. I think, though, that the BBC should have omitted them altogether. However, the photos do indicate, IMO, that there was some foul play in Bob Woolmer’s death.

    If I may broaden your comment on cultural differences and variance in sensibilities, I did notice when the Troubles were on in NI that the BBC would omit or delay items of news that were already well known in NI. Censorship by omission has been a BBC practice since its inception.

  • Cromwell

    On looking at that picture, it would seem to resemble saliva or possibly vomit coming from the mouth.
    I follow cricket quite closely & although I’m not a gambler I know spread betting on run rates etc is quite a big feature & its not always just about the result as far as winning money is concerned.
    Also, Bob Woolmers book is reported to be mainly about coaching & not any sort of expose on the game itself.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Sinister indeed. Leaves a very bad taste in the mouth. At the end of the day it’s only cricket, it’s not the end of the world that Ireland beat the Pakistanis but obviously a person or persons felt differently…

  • dodrade

    I have little confidence the murderer/s and those behind it will be caught. If anyone is arrested it probably will be a “lone nut” patsy. Woolmer most probably knew too much and could no longer be trusted to keep silent. We are lucky to even find out it was murder. The whole thing stinks.

  • Shandyman

    Very strange in the hell did it take the authorities so long to confirm a homocide? And how was somebody able to gain access to Woolmer’s room, enter and exit, murder him in his bed, and escape without ANY eyewitnesses noticing anything untoward?

    Dodgy, Dodgy, DODGY.