Friday, March 23, 2007

Murder in the World of Cricket?

What an incredible story. As many scandals as major league baseball has had, there's absolutely nothing like what is happening in Cricket right now. Murder, a tell-all book, gamblers and games being fixed? This is something right out of a crime novel. Unbelievable. Stay tuned.
This was on today:

KINGSTON, Jamaica (March 23) - Police investigating the murder of Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer were seeking permission Friday to take DNA samples from players.
"It is true that anybody who is required to give a witness statement in this incident we are seeking their permission to get fingerprints and DNA samples," to help eliminate suspects, Jamaican police deputy commissioner Mark Shields said in a radio interview.

Pakistani players and officials were among people fingerprinted and interviewed by police at a Kingston hotel on Thursday before the squad traveled to Montego Bay.

Police Commissioner Lucius Thomas said in a statement late Thursday that a pathologist report found Woolmer's death on Sunday was due to "asphyxia as a result of manual strangulation."Woolmer, 58, showed no signs of life when he was found in his room Sunday by hotel staff and was later declared dead at a hospital, police said.
A Pakistan team spokesman said Woolmer had been writing a book and had been "disturbed" that pages had gone missing.Days before police confirmed it, former Pakistan fast bowler Sarfraz Nawaz claimed Woolmer had been murdered and it could be linked with illegal gambling syndicates he was going to expose in the book. Police said there was no evidence of forced entry or visible signs of a struggle, and Woolmer might have known his killer.

"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," Shields said.Police were reviewing security cameras at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel and urging witnesses to come forward. Shields on Friday rejected media reports that a suspect had been arrested or taken into custody."There is absolutely no truth to the story that anybody has been arrested," Shields said. "Nobody is in custody and have no suspects.
"There are certainly a number of lines of inquiry that we are looking at and we have some theories of what may have happened, but it's too early to go public with them."Shields said police were investigating if more than one person could have been involved." 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," he said. "It could be one or more people involved in this murder.

"Shields declined to comment when asked about local media reports describing the condition of Woolmer's body. "There are some issues surrounding marks on his body, but for the moment I would rather we stick to the cause of death, which is asphyxia," he said.

Pakistan team spokesman Pervez Jamil Mir said the players were shocked by the news Woolmer had been killed."I've spoken to the chairman and he's totally devastated. He can't believe it. He's very, very distressed. The team is distressed. Everybody is absolutely in a state of shock," he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. The coach's widow earlier said it was possible an irate fan might have killed her husband.
"Some of the cricketing fraternity, fans, are extremely volatile and passionate about the game and what happens in the game," Gill Woolmer said Thursday in an interview from South Africa with Britain's Sky TV. So I suppose there is always the possibility."

Gill Woolmer said her husband had not recently mentioned anything about match fixing. He had been South Africa's coach in the 1990s when the team's captain, Hansie Cronje, admitted taking money to fix matches and was banned for life. Woolmer was never implicated. The head of the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit will investigate if match fixing had played a role in Woolmer's death, ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said." Sadness has now been replaced with a profound sense of shock at the news that his death is being treated as murder," he said.
Ex-South Africa fast bowler Alan Donald said the World Cup should be canceled out of respect for his former coach. "I just don't know how this World Cup can continue under the shadow of what's happened," he told BBC radio.But Speed said the March 13-April 28 World Cup would continue, despite the murder probe, a call backed by England captain Michael Vaughan. Woolmer's death left the Pakistan national team in tatters and tears.

The national selection panel resigned. Team captain Inzamam-ul-Haq announced his resignation and retirement from one-day cricket, then led Pakistan to an emotional victory Wednesday against Zimbabwe. A fan at the match hoisted a sign saying: "Do it for Bob."Woolmer was born in India, played for England and recently split his time between South Africa and Pakistan, where he has been national coach since 2004. He had been expected to finish his contract after the World Cup and return to South Africa.
He is being accorded hero status in Pakistan after his death. Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf said he would be awarded the Sitara-e-Imtiaz, or Star of Excellence, for his contribution to sport.

1 comment:

Meathead said...

That is unreal, Ed! Maybe if MLB went international, there would be potential for bigger scandals!