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Robert Andrew "Bob" Woolmer (May 14, 1948 March 18, 2007) was an international cricketer, professional cricket coach and also a professional commentator. He played in 19 Test matches and 6 One Day Internationals for England and later coached South Africa, Warwickshire and Pakistan.
Pakistan coach Woolmer died of natural causes
Woolmer, 58, was found dead in his hotel room in Kingston, Jamaica on March 18, the day after Ireland handed the highly rated Pakistani team a surprising defeat, crashing them out of the cricket World Cup tournament. Days after his death police announced they were treating the case as a homicide, saying an autopsy report showed he had been strangled. The report sparked feverish speculation about the role of gambling mafias in the game. But after three independent pathologists' reports, a barrage of toxicology tests and interviews with hundreds of people, police on Tuesday ruled out any foul play or match-fixing in the death of the former England Test player.
"Mr Woolmer died of natural causes," Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) commissioner Lucius Thomas said, referring to a finding by a British forensics expert that was also supported by South African and Canadian pathologists. Toxicology tests also ruled out another earlier theory that Woolmer had been poisoned. "The JCF accepts these findings and has now closed its investigation into the death of Mr Bob Woolmer," Thomas said. Neither Jamaican police nor the International Cricket Council (ICC) "have found any evidence of any impropriety by players, match officials nor management during the investigation of Mr Bob Woolmer's death," Thomas said.
Police interviewed some 400 people and took statements from 250 others during the investigation. Detectives from Scotland Yard and Pakistan were also involved in the inquiry. "We are relieved that it has been officially announced that Bob died of natural causes," Woolmer's widow, Gill, said from her home in Cape Town, South Africa. "It is now over," she said.
According to reports in Jamaica last month, Scotland Yard detectives had determined that the coach died of a heart attack. An initial autopsy report after Woolmer's death proved inconclusive, but a pathology report days later indicated he died of "asphyxia as a result of manual strangulation," which had led police to treat his death as murder. Pakistani players said they were relieved at the news, but some were angry enough to call for the Caribbean investigators to be sued. The entire Pakistan squad was fingerprinted and ordered to provide DNA samples following Woolmer's death.
Jamaican police sought on Tuesday to defend themselves against accusations of incompetence, saying they had only sought to be thorough. "This was an extraordinary case," said Thomas's deputy commissioner Mark Shields, a former Scotland Yard officer. The force "adopted a thoroughly professional investigation where nothing was left to chance. Every effort has been made by the Jamaica Constabulary Force to seek the truth surrounding Bob Woolmer's death," Thomas said.
Woolmer's body to be sent home
A casket containing Woolmer's body is being sent to his family home in Cape Town. Woolmer, 58, was murdered on March 18 shortly after Pakistan was eliminated from the World Cup after a shock defeat by Ireland. He was found unconscious in his hotel room and pronounced dead at hospital. Police said he was strangled in a crime still shrouded in mystery. Jamaica's National Security Ministry said a casket carrying Woolmer's body would leave Roman's Funeral Home in the heart of West Kingston.
Jamaica's deputy police commissioner Mark Shields has said he plans to fly to South Africa to meet Woolmer's widow, Gill. He has, however, denied reports that he would be accompanying the body and said he planned to leave Jamaica early next month. "It is critical for us that we speak to Gill Woolmer in order for us to be better able to solve the case," Shields told a local radio station.
Media reports have said Woolmer, a former England player, was poisoned and later strangled but the police have not confirmed that a toxic substance was used in the murder. Toxicology results have not yet been made public. An inquest was due to begin on April 23, but the coroner Patrick Murphy postponed it indefinitely due to the emergence of what he described as "new information" which could help solve the case.
Snake venom ruled out in Woolmer's death
The 58-year-old coach was found dead in his hotel room in Kingston a day after Pakistan's humiliating defeat by Ireland in the World cup cricket tournament, which is nearing completion in the West Indies, the BBC reported. "It is not snake venom," said Deputy Police Commissioner Mark Shields, who is leading the investigation into the killing. The only definitive statement from police so far has been that the case is being treated as murder, as Woolmer died "due to asphyxia as a result of manual strangulation," the report said.
Shields said pathology and toxicology tests were nearing completion with results expected soon. "The priority is to see the truth," he said. "We are seeking experts and taking time to conduct a thorough investigation." The BBC said two Pakistani officers had come to Jamaica to assist in the investigation.
Weedkiller found in Bob Woolmer's hotel room
Drinking the substance could have 'caused Woolmer to have a seizure, as he was found dead in his bathroom after being violently sick.' Investigators are now looking to see how much of the weedkiller was in Woolmer's body. Meanwhile, a prime suspect in the murder case is said to have been caught on CCTV cameras in the same hotel.
No breakthrough in Woolmer case
Jamaican police, four Scotland Yard detectives and an Interpol investigator have been examining security-camera footage from the Kingston hotel where the English-born coach was found dead on March 18. They are also awaiting the results of a toxicology report, Angell said. Pakistan's team manager has left Jamaica, but at least one Pakistani diplomat has stayed to observe the investigation, Angell said. Woolmer died a day after his team lost to Ireland in a stunning upset that eliminated Pakistan from the World Cup, which is being played in nine Caribbean countries through late April. A pathologist who conducted Woolmer's autopsy initially ruled his death was "inconclusive" but announced four days later that he had been strangled.
South Africa memorial service for Bob Woolmer
Woolmer, whose death at the World Cup is being treated as a murder by police, was found unconscious in his Pegasus Hotel room in Kingston, Jamaica, on March 18, following his teams humiliating defeat to Ireland in the World Cup. He was declared dead a few hours later. After an autopsy, police said the facts suggested he had been strangled. The Bob Woolmer Trust Fund, which was set up after his death, said there would be a service in Cape Town, South Africa, today at Wynberg Boys High School.
The former England batsman lived in Cape Town after he retired from playing in the 1980s. Speculation continues into the mysterious death as a team of British officers began helping with the inquiry. Scotland Yard sent three detectives and a scenes of crime officer led by a detective superintendent. Their arrival comes as the Jamaican authorities appear no closer to discovering exactly how Woolmer died.
Scotland Yard helps Woolmer investigation
Scotland Yard has confirmed three detectives and a scenes of crime officer flew to the Caribbean on Monday and they are led by a Detective Superintendent who has not been named. A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said: "The Jamaican constabulary remains the prime investigating force."
Pakistan is also sending two senior investigators to observe or assist the investigation. The 58-year-old was found unconscious in his hotel bathroom hours after Pakistan suffered a shock defeat by Ireland in the Cricket World Cup. He died later in hospital and a post-mortem showed he had been strangled.
Bob Woolmer was poisoned
Woolmer, 58, was found unconscious in his hotel room two weeks ago, a day after Pakistan was eliminated from the World Cup after a shock defeat by Ireland. According to Londons Sunday Mirror, an anonymous man, thought to be from Pakistan, had phoned the police and claimed that aconite had killed the coach.
Aconite is also known as Blue Rocket, Monkshood or Wolfsbane. After the poison is ingested, there is a sensation of burning, tingling, and numbness in the mouth, and of burning in the abdomen. After about an hour, there is severe vomiting. The pulse and respiration steadily fail and death occurs from asphyxia. Much like strychnine poisoning, the patient is conscious and clear-minded to the last. The only post mortem signs are those of asphyxia. Death occurs within 30 minutes. This may explain how Woolmer, a physically imposing man, died without putting up a fight.
Memorial service held for Woolmer
Some 200 people attended the service at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in the eastern city of Lahore, the home of Pakistani cricket. One minute of silence was observed, candles were lit and prayers offered. Pakistani cricketers and officials of Pakistan Cricket Board were among those attending the service.
Woolmer, 58, was found unconscious in his Kingston hotel room on March 18 and pronounced dead at a hospital on the morning after his team's elimination from the Cricket World Cup in a surprising loss to Ireland. Jamaican police have blamed Woolmer's death on strangulation. "God rest you, Bob, God rest you, and until we meet again, good bye," said Rev Lawrence Saldanha, the Catholic archbishop of Lahore, who led the prayers for Woolmer.
Woolmer memorial services planned
The Pakistan Cricket Board [PCB] has organised a public service in Lahore on Sunday and there is also a service scheduled for Wednesday in Cape Town. Sacred Heart Cathedral will host the service in Lahore from 12 noon to 1:00 PM local time on April 1st.
The event in South Africa will be held at the Wynberg Boy's high school, where speakers will include former South African cricketer Allan Donald, who also linked-up with Woolmer during his tenure as Warwickshire coach. Woolmer was coach of the South African national side from 1994-1999 and had made Cape Town his home for the last 20 years. A statement issued on behalf of Woolmer's family said: "The service will be led by Reverend Jerome Francis who was coached by Bob from the age of 11."
Tim Noakes of the Sport Science Institute of South Africa - with who Woolmer co-wrote a book on the science of cricket will also be a speaker at the service. While it will be a public event there will also be a private area for close friends of the Woolmer family who live in Cape Town. Woolmer was killed on March 18th the day after Pakistan's surprise defeat to Ireland during the group stage of the World Cup which saw them knocked out of the tournament.
Bob Woolmer was strangled with a towel
'The Sun' claimed that Woolmer was strangulated with a towel, or ligature, in what seemed a mafia-style killing probably to prevent the coach from blowing the whistle on match-fixing. The tabloid quoted Deputy Commissioner in Jamaica Police Mark Shields saying that it was 'common sense' that something was used to prevent the throat being marked.
"If it is some form of manual strangulation and there are no physical marks, there may have been something between the hands of the assailant and the neck. Thats as far as I will go," Shields said. He also confirmed that towels were found in the room. The fact that the killer wanted not to leave any mark suggests it was a well-planned murder. Shields reiterated that it was a murder case but added that he 'had to keep an open mind' and 'had to be led by the scientists'.
Forensic pathologis Ere Seshaiah, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, said in his report that Woolmer had died of 'asphyxia caused by manual strangulation'. Shields said the chambermaid who discovered Woolmers naked body in a pool of his own vomit at Kingstons Pegasus hotel was traumatised. The report claimed she was taken back to room 374 where Woolmer was murdered. Police were also probing reports about a match-fixer, linked to Dawood Ibrahim, who reportedly was thrown out of Woolmer's room after a spat with the coach.
Breakthrough on Woolmer inquiry images
Mark Shields, Jamaicas Deputy Police Commissioner, announced last night that about 28 hours of CCTV footage from two cameras at either end of the corridor had now been digitally enhanced, "and some of the people I met in the week before the murder of Bob Woolmer I could easily identify". Mr Shields said that nobody was yet a suspect, but the good quality of the CCTV images is a huge breakthrough in the murder investigation and could prove crucial. Mr Shields said that the next key step was to determine when the Pakistan cricket coach was attacked. Detectives were still poring over door key card records and other electronic data. "I want to make absolutely sure what time Bob Woolmer died," Mr Shields said, so that the crucial moment of footage could be narrowed down. He now believed that Mr Woolmer had been killed early in the morning of the Sunday before last. The Pakistan coach retired to his room in the Jamaica Pegasus hotel at about 8pm on Saturday, after his team had been sensationally knocked out of the Cricket World Cup by Ireland. Mr Shields, a former Scotland Yard detective, said that Mr Woolmer had ordered room service some time between 8pm and 9pm on the Saturday evening, and had sent a final e-mail. Police were still examining his laptop computer and mobile phone for clues as to who killed him.
Mr Shields was also asked about rumours that the first post-mortem examination was botched and that Mr Woolmer was not in fact murdered, but died of natural causes. "It is very clear from the pathologists report that we are dealing with a murder investigation," he said. "We will always keep an open mind, but we view this very categorically as a murder investigation." On Tuesday he also said he had evidence that he has not made public that "pointed very clearly to murder". The pathologist who conducted the post-mortem examination broke his silence yesterday to insist that he had not bungled the examination. Ere Sheshaiah, an Indian who moved to Jamaica 12 years ago, has faced criticism from other local pathologists because he initially found the cause of death to be "inconclusive". It was not until four days after Mr Woolmer was found in his hotel room that police declared he had been killed by "manual strangulation". Garfield Blake, head of the Jamaican Association of Clinical Pathologists, said: "The final conclusion of this being a manual strangulation, I would not expect the first word to be inconclusive.
Dr Sheshaiah, who said he had conducted more than 1,000 autopsies, told NDTV that he did not believe he had made any mistakes, or reached the wrong conclusion. "I did it to the best of my ability. We did our best," he said. Asked if he was confident about the job he had done, he said: "Questions are always there." He added: "I took two hours. I arrived at the cause of death and I prepared my report and gave it to the police high command." The murder has triggered febrile speculation and countless conspiracy theories. Without a shred of evidence, and despite Mr Shields certitude of murder, one such conspiracy being whispered in cricketing circles is that Dr Sheshaiah had called Mr Woolmers death murder to cause difficulty for the Pakistan team. Mr Shields called "pretty inaccurate" a claim by the Pakistan team spokesman that the players had been cleared of the murder. No one in and around the hotel at the time had been ruled out, he said.
Woolmer body to be kept in Jamaica
A coroner on the Caribbean island has ruled that the inquest, with a jury, will be held "as soon as practical" but a date has yet to be set. The development followed talks between the coroner and former Scotland Yard detective Mark Shields, the deputy commissioner of police in Jamaica.
Pakistan's cricketers are preparing to leave the country after being interviewed and asked to provide DNA samples. Police have been scouring CCTV footage and other electronic records from the Kingston hotel where Mr Woolmer was strangled. On Friday detectives said Mr Woolmer probably knew his killer - or killers - as there was no sign of forced entry. But hotel officials said there are no records of anyone else entering Mr Woolmer's 12th-floor room on the night he was murdered. The 58-year-old former England player was found unconscious in his room on Sunday, a day after Pakistan's shock defeat to Ireland in the World Cup.
A statement released by the Jamaica Information Service on behalf of the commissioner of police said that the coroner had directed that Mr Woolmer's body "remain within his jurisdiction" until an inquest is completed. "A coroner's inquest with a jury into the murder of Bob Woolmer is to be held," the statement, released on Friday, said. "Following discussions with deputy commissioner of police, Mark Shields, this morning, the coroner directed that the inquest be held as soon as practical. He also ordered that Mr Woolmer's body remain within his jurisdiction until the inquest has been completed." The statement added that although the Pakistan players were expected to leave Jamaica on Thursday, two team officials would remain in Kingston.
Two Pak players ordered to stay back in Jamaica
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.
Woolmer 'murdered and had a broken neck'
Woolmer's widow admitted she couldn't rule out foul play. Members of the Pakistan team are being fingerprinted and asked to give statements to police. In the latest development, the Jamaican police have decided to seek a second pathological opinion besides seeking help from Scotland Yard of London to solve the mystery. A pathologist from the United States is being flown in to Jamaica to verify the first pathological report made by Government pathologist Dr Ere Sheshiah, which, however, proved inconclusive as to the causes of Woolmer's death.
"Following consultations involving representatives from the Government of Jamaica and the police, a decision was taken to seek the opinion of a second pathologist,'' a release from the Jamaica Constabulary Force director of communications, Karl Angell, said last night. Two detectives from London's top police service are expected to arrive in Jamaica before the end of the week to solve the mystery behind the tragic death of Woolmer, who holds an English passport.
Woolmer was strangulated to death
"I made contact with the ongoing investigation. Police will tell the public and journalists that the cause of death was strangulation", the unnamed reporter said. "I have sources in Jamaican Police and I stick by my sources. Maybe they wanted to make some extra precautions (before announcing)" he said. The Pakistani coach, Woolmer, 58, was found unconscious in his hotel room on Sunday. He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. His death was followed by Pakistan's crushing defeat against Ireland.
It has been revealed that there was blood and vomit in the room and Woolmer was found by hotel staff on the floor with his mouth wide open. The preliminary autopsy on Woolmer has proved inconclusive.
Woolmer's death murder suspected
"The police suspect that Woolmer may have been murdered," said Pakistan team media manager Pervez Mir. "They have started an investigation."
Mark Shields, spokesperson of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, confirmed that Woolmer's death was being treated as suspicious. "Having met with the pathologists and other medical personnel, there is sufficient information to continue a full investigation into the circumstances of Woolmer's death," Shields said. Woolmer's autopsy was performed Tuesday at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) here. Said Hame Persaud, a clinical pathologist: "(Woolmer's) organs would have been examined and checked for any marks of struggle or injury.
"The samples being sent for the pathological tests are to find out traces of any poisoning or drug overdose." "There is nothing unusual about the pathologist taking his time about the result, since this would be the correct operating procedure in such a high-profile case," Shields told reporters at a news conference. "In a case like this, the pathologist wants to be absolutely sure, and there is nothing unusual," he was quoted as saying by Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC). "He wants to make sure whatever his findings, that they are accurate and to conduct further tests, I think that is legitimate and sensible in the circumstances." Shields said arrangements had been put in place to allow Woolmer's body to leave Jamaica Saturday with the Pakistan team, but it would not be released until all the test results were returned. The body of Bob Woolmer has been sent to a local funeral parlour, and arrangements are being made for shipment of the body to Cape Town via London, said Pakistani officials.
The 58-year-old Woolmer, who was a diabetic, was found unconscious in his hotel room on Sunday, and pronounced dead a few hours later in the University Hospital of the West Indies. His death came a day after Pakistan lost their second straight match in the World Cup to Ireland by three wickets to make an early exit from the competition. Woolmer's room at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel has remained sealed, with the police not having handed it back to the hotel management to date. There have been unconfirmed reports that Pakistan might pull out of the last match against Zimbabwe Wednesday when Inzamam ul Haq will lead his side for the last time in his career. He announced his retirement from one day cricket and also relinquished the captain's post after Woolmer's death.
Pakistan Selectors Resign En Masse
Chief selector Wasim Bari says he and his two fellow selectors were morally bound to accept some of the blame for Pakistan's failure in the West Indies. Another selector Iqbal Qasim said coach Bob Woolmer paid a heavy price for a failed campaign and the selectors should have resigned earlier. Woolmer died of a suspected heart attack the day after Pakistan lost to Ireland and crashed out of the tournament. Mushtaq Ahmed, given the job of replacing Woolmer as coach for the rest of the World Cup, says his death is the worst thing to happen to Pakistan cricket. The former test leg-spinner was promoted from assistant coach after Woolmer's died suddenly on Monday, less than 24 hours after Pakistan lost to Ireland and crashed out of the World Cup.
Mushtaq says Woolmer was a father figure to the whole team and a great motivator. The squad trained this morning a day before their final match against Zimbabwe in Jamaica, but played football for an hour instead of net practice. Mushtaq says it is a way of easing the team back into the routine after the death.
Mystery Surrounds Around Pakistan Coach Bob Woolmers Death
Unable to travel to the West Indies, the Pakistani coach's family has authorised team trainer and close friend Murray Stevenson, who is also from South Africa, to go ahead with the autopsy and carry out all formalities in their absence. Once the official report has been released, Stevenson will accompany the 58-year-old's body back to Capetown. Meanwhile, the team itself will not be allowed to leave Jamaica before the investigation has been completed.
The team will be shifted to a hotel in Montego Bay after playing their last group match against Zimbabwe on Wednesday. Woolmer died under mysterious circumstances in Jamaica on Sunday - a day after Pakistan's shock defeat to Ireland. Jamaican authorities are understood to be examining three possible reasons for Woolmer's death.
Reports have suggested that the coach may have died of a prescription drug and alcohol overdose coupled with stress, Sleep apnea and the possibility of a rupture of an ulcer as blood spots were seen in Woolmer's hotel room. The 58-yr-old Woolmer was a diabetic and was found lying unconscious in a pool of vomit in his room at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica. Meanwhile, Pakistan President and patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Cricket Board Pervez Musharraf has said he was distressed and dejected after the team's embarassing performance at the World Cup. Earlier, the Board's National Selection Committee headed by Wasim Bari tendered its resignation.
Woolmer death draws out foul play rumours
Former Pakistani fast bowler Sarfraz Nawaz told reporters in Lahore on Monday that certain top players in the team were involved in fixing the matches against the West Indies and Ireland. Apparently certain PCB insiders told Nawaz that at least five leading bookies from Pakistan had reached the West Indies in the first week of March and were in touch with heavyweights in the team. "The theory going around in West Indies police circles is that Woolmer might have been killed by those who wanted to silence him on the issue of match-fixing," he claimed.
A former PCB official who requested anonymity said Woolmers book, Discovering Cricket, which he was writing, could have exposed the cricketer-bookie nexus in Pakistan, India, and South Africa. The official claimed that Woolmer met Delhi police officers during Pakistans 2005 tour of India to gather material for the book. Nawaz said Woolmer had finished more than 50 per cent of the book. Meanwhile, Pakistan team media manager PJ Mir denied media reports that Woolmer died of a drug overdose.
Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer dies during World Cup
Earlier Bob Woolmer was taken to hospital and was in a serious condition."We have taken Bob Woolmer to the hospital and he is in the emergency ward. We don't know anything more at the moment," pakistan team media manager Pervez Mir said. "We have been told he was serious but we don't know much. It is too early to say whether or not he suffered a heart attack." Pakistan were knocked out of the World Cup on Saturday after a shock three-wicket defeat to Ireland. Woolmer was in shambles after Pakistan was defeated by Ireland. Woolmer had earlier had said that his side's performance ranked pretty highly as one of the worse days of his life as a coach.