Bob Woolmer's Death Confirmed As Murder

March 23, 2007

The story of Bob Woolmer's tragic death is getting stranger and stranger. Cricket has always been known as a gentleman's game, with good manners, not much of uncouth behaviour, and mostly well behaved cricketers epitomizing all that is good about cricket. Even the people in cricket who were seen as bad boys such as Ian Botham, Shane Warne, etc, were not seen as bad characters as such, but more with a streak of irresponsibility.

Then the first saga of match fixing came onto the scene. With its immense popularity in the sub-continent, and the presence of the Indian diaspora everywhere, betting on cricket achieved astronomical proportions, with the mafia also getting involved. Cricket match-fixing was first seen as something that was simply not possible, and people hinting at this were people who had no idea, and such a thing could possibly not happen in this gentleman's game. And then the police and other official investigation started finding links that could just not be coincidence, and then famous cricketers started falling to the chorus of guilty.

Some of the most famous cricketers accused of match-fixing have been cricketing icons in their own right such as Hansie Cronje, Azharuddin, and Jadeja. If you read about the figures of betting involved on major games and tournaments, the amount of money involved is around the total revenues of some of the major companies in the Indian sub-continent. Such money and the presence of criminal elements raises the stakes immensely. With such money involved, every game that turns the other way or happens in a way that causes upsets is seen with suspicion, and every inning that terminates suddenly with a rash shot causes those hidden thoughts to rise. It is after all a lot of money, and after the fall of great cricketers in the past, it is no major effort to think about money having swayed decisions.

Bob Woolmer's death is quite mysterious. His body was found in suspicious circumstances, just after a shock defeat of Pakistan at the hands of a rank upstart like Ireland that pushed Pakistan out of the tournament. His room had signs of vomit and blood, and after his autopsy and further forensic investigations, his death has now been ruled as a homicide due to asphyxia from strangulation. In addition, the Pakistani cricket side has been asked to stay back for a bit more time, and there are reports that given that he was the coach of the Pakistani side, the team members have been questioned independently and may be asked to provide DNA samples.:

The Pakistan team's stay in the West Indies has been extended by a day or two for reasons not known yet, sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board said on Friday.

They were scheduled to take a flight out from Jamaica on Saturday but now this might be delayed to Monday or Tuesday," a well-informed source said.
He, however, said he could not say for certain if the delay was due to the ongoing investigations into the murder of Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer, who was found dead in his hotel room on Sunday.

"I don't know if it has to do with the investigations but their departure is going to be delayed," the source said.

This investigation has now pushed the Cricket World Cup into a lot of controversy, given that a murder investigation, with suspicions of the betting mafia being involved will overshadow every other event of the world cup, and people will find it hard to forget this horrible incident. One can only hope that this murder is investigated thoroughly so that all the hidden angles are also brought out.

Ashish is a blogger who got bit by the blogging charm a few months back, and it has hit him good. He is able to express himself through his blogs. Currently working with a software manufacturing company in NCR, India. Did a BE and then an MBA and has been working for around 9 years now. Is pretty passionate about current affairs, but did not have a vehicle to express his opinions till now. I primarily blog at Modern Indian Man, also write about Delhi, Tech News, and Photos 1 & 2
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Bob Woolmer's Death Confirmed As Murder


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Anand Menon
March 23, 2007
10:53 PM

The Dawn paper frm Pakistan further reports ..."Pakistan's World Cup players gave statements to Jamaican police and were also finger-printed on Thursday as the investigation into the death of Bob Woolmer became embroiled in a fevered round of speculation and denial."

"...We're going through a process of speaking to people, including members of the team,” said Mark Shields, the deputy chief commissioner of the Jamaican police force.

Shields added that all of the Pakistan squad had been fingerprinted before being allowed to leave for the Jamaican resort of Montego Bay later in the day.

Pakistan team spokesman Pervez Mir confirmed the probe had been extended to the players, saying that police were trying to ascertain Woolmer's last movements and stressing that the questioning was not carried out under caution.

The police asked the Pakistani players “when did you last see Bob, what were his last movements, what happened after the game... did he order anything in his room?” Pervez said.

Meanwhile, the Jamaica Gleaner said a ‘high-ranking police officer’ had confirmed that fresh evidence has surfaced which suggested that Woolmer was strangled in his room at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel between overnight Saturday.

According to the police officer, Woolmer was found half naked in his room, partially wrapped in a towel, the newspaper said.

“A bone in the neck, near the glands, was broken, and this suggests that somebody might have put some pressure on it,” the officer told the newspaper.

“We are now treating this as a homicide.”

The Jamaica Observer also quoted unnamed sources close to the investigation as saying that bones in the lower part of Woolmer's face were broken, suggesting he had been strangled.

Pervez dismissed the suggestions, and also speculation over a link with match-fixing as “totally baseless and premature”.

“I'm afraid I cannot count these as accurate because the Jamaican police force hasn't given us official information as to what were the causes of Bob's death,” Pervez said.

“I hope the police come up with a statement and some answers as soon as possible,” he said, calling on people to be “considerate and sensitive”.

Woolmer died in hospital on Sunday after being found unconscious in his hotel room a day after Pakistan were knocked out of the World Cup.

Shields said on Tuesday that an autopsy conducted on Woolmer's body by a government pathologist proved inconclusive as to the cause of death which was being treated as ‘suspicious’.

Shields said the police were awaiting the results of the toxicology and histology analysis from Woolmer's tissue sample.

But the Jamaica force have now flown in a pathologist from Florida for a second opinion. Shields, an Englishman, justified the move, saying: “If I was in London I would have asked for overseas help in the same way.

Cricinfo adds..."The Pakistan team is due to leave Jamaica at 6pm on Saturday, Nasim Ashraf, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, said, seeking to scotch speculation that the team had been asked to stay back in the West Indies in connection with the Bob Woolmer murder case.

Ashraf, who resigned as the PCB chairman after Pakistan's defeat to Ireland on Saturday, said at a press conference in Islamabad that the team had "seen unbelievable stress and trauma". He said his effort would be to have the team return to Pakistan, where "their families are very perturbed, very anxious"......"

It further adds..."In an interview with BBC Radio, Shields said that it was difficult to believe that the murder could have been committed by a stranger. "It is imperative that we keep an open mind, but I have to say at this stage it looks as if it may be somebody somehow linked to him, because clearly he let somebody into his hotel room and it may be that he knew who that person was."...."

so lets get this straight:
1.Bob Woolmer lets someone he knew into his room not a stranger.
2.Bob Woolmer is strangled to death.
3.Pak cricketers are interviewed ,fingerprinted and DNA samples taken.
4.A second opinion from a well known pathologist is sought....the pak cricketers are asked to delay their exit.

Now somebody please tell me this and try keeping a straight face while you are about it.....who are the obvious suspects here?.....and who is in a tearing hurry to get out of there?

Your views desicritics?

March 24, 2007
12:14 AM

reluctantly d'accord.
Soldiers never abandon their dead bodies and rush home. More than anybody else, it is Pakistan's problem and Woolmer died in the Line of Duty.

March 24, 2007
12:21 AM

Two Pakistani players ordered to stay back in Jamaica
Kingston (Jamaica), March 24 (PTI): The investigation into Bob Woolmer's murder took an unexpected turn on Friday with the Jamaican authorities ordering two of the Pakistani players to stay back while an inquest was conducted, local media has reported.

According to TV Jamaica, the two unnamed Pakistani players have been asked to remain in the country while the rest of the team were free to leave.

The inquest was to be conducted in the presence of a jury at the earliest possible time, TVJ reported.

The news comes hours after Pakistan Cricket Board's outgoing chairman Nasim Ashraf told reporters in Islamabad that the entire team would return home on Saturday and the only factor that was uncertain about their travel was their flight booking.

Jamaica DCP Mark Shields had earlier said that the police had not identified any suspect so far.

Earlier in the day, police took DNA samples of the Pakistani players now in Montego Bay.

Pakistan's cricket coach Woolmer was murdered in his Pegasus Hotel room on Sunday, throwing cricket into a turmoil and casting a shadow on the ongoing World Cup.

Police said on Thursday that the post-mortem report showed that Woolmer died due to asphyxia caused by manual strangulation.

Since there was no evidence of break-in, it is believed that Woolmer, 58, must have known the killer.

Given Woolmer's build, more than one might be involved, the police added.

The Pakistani players had earlier been questioned and finger-printed.

March 24, 2007
12:23 AM

Wow - It should be easy to deduce who's been asked to stay back from whoever leaves:)

A kind of prisoner's dilemma, oops, wrong choice of words there:)

Forensic Expert
March 24, 2007
01:38 AM

Inzaman ul-Haq is responsible. He is the only one in the Pakistan cricket team larger that Bob Woolmer.

March 24, 2007
01:55 AM

awww, poor ol' Inzi... just coz he's a big guy and got the third degree isnt any reason to jump him. Let's see if he's asked to stay behind - THEN we can pile on him :D

Forensic Expert
March 24, 2007
03:30 AM

Inzaman only, probabaly not with the intent to kill because Woolmer was found alive and unconscious but died in hospital later. Maybe a simple fight that broke out after an argument in which he grabs & chokes Woolmer in anger but flees as he falls unconsciouss due to neck injury.
A professional killer would have made sure he was dead, not left him unconsciouss to maybe recover later.

March 24, 2007
08:59 AM

oh my god it is very bad to see inzii leave the cricket world we really mis u inzi best of luck in ur future............................... this world cup is very expensive 40r us 1st we out 4rom tonament second bob's murder & inzii leave oh

March 24, 2007
09:01 AM

i am singer but fan of cricket dont warry u win next time guys

March 25, 2007
03:04 AM

There are some points to be deliberated and answers found.
1. Why did the Indian pathologist perform an inconclusive post morterm? Was he under any pressure? needs to be investigated.
2. The hotel internet server should be able to tell the time when Woolmer switched off his laptop.
3. Have any body tissues been recovered fron the nails of Woolmer. He may have offered some resistance however brief by scratching.
4. When did Woolmer send an email to Chairman PCB about his resignation?
5. At what time was the meal served to Woolmer.
6. If Woolmer was drugged in the meal, then who put the tray outside. Are there any finger marks found?
7. It is possible that Woolmer was not drugged in the meal. In that case some chloroform was used, but then howcome Woolmer moved to the Bathroom? and why if he was in some senses, he did not call the emergency?
8. Ther can be two motives. Match Fixing or hate crime.

To me it appears that Woolmer had a normal meal. Then there were visitors to his room and someone slipped something into his wine, water or whatever he ate last. After they left, he felt giddy and went to the bathroom to vomit and relieve himself. Chloroform was taking effect. Noise of tap water and flush system running alerted the assasins to move in again and strangulate Woolmer who was partially alert. Broken neck can be explained by the fall he must have taken while being dizzy.

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