- Title: VARIOUS: Jamaican police say Pakistan's cricket coach Bob Woolmer was murdered
- Date: 24th March 2007
- Summary: (W3) KINGSTON, JAMAICA (MARCH 17, 2007) (REUTERS) MURDERED PAKISTAN COACH BOB WOOLMER TALKING AT NEWS CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 8th April 2007 09:37
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA4APKTD0XD9BORS93J93KCZMIC
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Police in Jamaica say Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer was strangled and they are treating his death as murder. Jamaican police said on Friday (March 23) that Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer, who died last weekend during the Cricket World Cup, had been strangled and his death was being investigated as murder.
At a news conference, a police spokesman quoted a pathologist's report as concluding that Woolmer's death on Sunday (March 18) was "due to asphyxiation by manual strangulation".
The 58-year-old Briton was found unconscious in his hotel room on Sunday morning and was prounced dead later in hospital. The previous day, Pakistan were eliminated from the Cricket World Cup by debutants Ireland.
Director of Communications for the Jamaican police Karl Angell appealed for anyone with information to come forward. Deputy Police Commissioner Mark Shields said there could have been more than one killer but added that there was no evidence of forced entry into Woolmer's hotel room. He also said there was no evidence of theft but would not be drawn on the motive for the murder.
The death of Woolmer, regarded as one of the best coaches in the world, has overshadowed the World Cup in the Caribbean which lasts for seven weeks and culminates in the final on April 28.
English cricket fans on the Island of St Lucia expressed shock and sadness at Woolmer's death. Some said they could not believe someone could be murdered over a game of cricket.
Pakistani cricket fans lit candles during a prayer ceremony to pay tribute to the coach, a British national. Students at the British University College in the city of Multan gathered to pay their respects.
In Jamaica, there was condemnation and fears that the country's reputation for crime had suffered another blow, although local journalist Karyl Walker suggested initial suspicions indicated the killer or killers may not have been Jamaican and was probably known to Woolmer.
Former London police commander John O'Connor said the initial failure by the Jamaican authorities to realise that Woolmer had been strangled might adversely affect their hunt for his killer. British police have volunteered to help with the investigation and retired Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Condon is on standby to travel to Jamaica.
There was speculation that Woolmer's death might be connected to a "betting mafia" involved in match fixing. Woolmer was coach of South Africa from 1994-99, a period in which their late captain Hansie Cronje was implicated in match-fixing.
Former Indian cricket administrator Venkat Sundaran said current checks put in by the game's ruling body, the International Cricket Council, had failed to clean up the sport.
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