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Friday, March 23, 2007

Cricket's First Murder?

(This post is based on various thoughts building up in my mind, which are getting further support from recent media news related to Bob Woolmer's death. I may be stepping into factually incorrect territories at times. For the sake of cricket, I hope my fears are misplaced.)
The worst possibility is getting confirmed (see excerpts from various media below) - Bob Woolmer's death was not natural, but in all likelihood a murder. The intent too seems to be very clear - Bob was in the know of the various elements involved in the sordid match-fixing deeds. The bookies and other involved parties feared Bob would say it all - he was also in the midst of writing a book, which could have included enough details of cricket's ugliest faces.
According to various souces, the number of people who sold their souls for money may be far more than ever anticipated, and it may not be restricted to just active cricketers. Umpires, match referees, other cricket officials and of course, the players themselves - if the rumours (so far) are to believed, they are all involved. Though, no one is yet giving out any names of people involved, but as the police dig deeper into the Bob Woolmer case, the Jamaica Police and Scotland Yard should be able to unearth more than a few ugly facts - we can only hope that the culprits will finally be revealed and punished.
It gives me jitters to even think that the entire World Cup may be fixed. Is that possible? I'm sure you have heard such stories yourself - friends call up and tell me that money has reached the Lankan camp, as there is no way that the various stakeholders in the game of Cricket can afford an India loss - the biggest stakeholders being the bookies!! Previously, I used to dismiss it as a figment of their imagination or a rumour, but now it's different. I'm finding it more and more difficult to shrug them off. The faith has been eroded - for ever, perhaps.
But even if lots and lots of people are involved in match fixing, I refuse to believe that everyone is - and it's a fair conjecture lots of such innocent people who are in close contact with the culprits would have adequate knowledge of the evil. Why don't they come forward and spill the beans? Or do they fear that, they might be silenced just like someone recently was.
(from thisislondon.co.uk )
Medical experts have confirmed that top cricket coach Bob Woolmer was strangled. As Jamaican police launched a full-scale murder investigation, a highly-placed source said: "The only question is whether it was done manually or with some kind of cord."

The sensational development came after it was reported that the 58-year-old Briton, found collapsed in his Kingston hotel room at the weekend, had a broken bone in his neck and gashes and blood on his face.
(source: Guardian)
Sources said Woolmer apparently had a fracture in a neck bone, which could be consistent with being strangled.
The claims emerged as Channel 4 News reported it had been told by a senior Jamaican policeman that Woolmer had been murdered and had a broken neck.
(source: IOL.co.za)
Pakistan cricket player's finger prints taken )
Assistant Police Commissioner Les Green, formerly of Scotland Yard, confirmed that members of the Pakistan cricket team were fingerprinted.
The Jamaica Gleaner newspaper, citing an unnamed high-ranking police officer, reported that authorities found a broken bone in Woolmer's neck and that investigators were treating the case as a homicide.
A former Pakistani player speculated that the coach was killed by gambling interests and a Pakistan team official said there was blood and vomit in the room when Woolmer was found.
(Channel 4)
Senior Jamaican police sources have told Channel 4 News a murder inquiry is imminent into the death of cricket coach Bob Woolmer.

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