Thursday, March 22, 2007

Bob Woolmer ~ What is the truth?

Bob Woolmer's widow has dismissed suggestions that her husband could have committed suicide, but she has refused to rule out the possibility of murder.

The Pakistan coach's death on Sunday has fuelled intense speculation, including theories that he may have been murdered at the World Cup in Jamaica, with police treating the death as "suspicious".

Woolmer, 58, died in hospital after being found unconscious in his hotel room in Kingston, the day after Pakistan suffered elimination from the world's premier one-day tournament at the hands of debutants Ireland.

And Gill Woolmer has told Sky Sports News that foul play could have been involved. She said: "There is always the possibility. Some of the cricket fraternity's fans are extremely volatile and passionate about the game and about what happens about the game. There is the possibility.

"It fills me with horror, I just can't believe that people could behave like that or that anyone would want to harm someone that has done such a great service to international cricket."

While a second pathologist has been called in to establish the cause of death in Jamaica, Gill has given an insight into her husband's final hours - trying to come to terms with the shock of a World Cup exit.

"He was very depressed and he sent me an email to that effect," she continued. "But he always got depressed and down if the boys didn't do as he had expected and hoped they could.

"He knew they could perform and he just got very down about it, but that was normal. He was a very competitive person, but there's no way that suicide was involved."

Suggestions that Woolmer was silenced because of revelations into gambling, about to be published in his book have also been given short shrift.

South African captain Hansie Cronje had confessed match-fixing in 2002, with Woolmer an innocent party as his coach, and Gill said she had no reason to believe her husband was about to blow the lid on match-fixing in the game.

"He did talk about it obviously a lot during the Hansie Cronje period when the South Africans were involved," she added. "But that's all been buried and dealt with. Everyone's had enough of it. I know I have.

"He never mentioned anything about match-fixing recently and I was unaware. If there was anything going on nobody here knew about it."

The police investigation is still to continue, with an official report into developments expected Thursday.

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