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Woolmer death 'suspicious'

Kingston, March 21
The mystery surrounding the death of Pakistan's cricket coach Woolmer deepened today with the Jamaica police declaring that the end was "suspicious" and required "full investigation".

"The autopsy report was inconclusive on the cause of the death. 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 which is now being treated as suspicious," Mark Shields, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Jamaica, said in a statement today.

"We have already informed the Woolmer family of this development and we are also in close contact with the Pakistan team management, Cricket World Cup and the ICC to ensure all parties are kept informed of the ongoing investigation."

Asked whether it could be murder, Shields said, "We are not saying that. We still do not have the official final report from the pathologist. We will update you on any further findings tomorrow."

Pakistan team media manager Pervez Mir said "suspicious need not be absolutely and totally negative. Whatever information police has told us, we are accepting it. Obviously, they are investigating. They say it is suspicious death, even now they are not conclusive. Suspicious does not mean absolutely and totally negative," he told reporters.

As speculation mounted about the reasons for Woolmer's death, Pakistan's Geo TV talked of "poisoning".

Woolmer’s death came a day after Pakistan suffered a shock defeat against Ireland and was eliminated from the World Cup.

Woolmer, based in Cape Town, South Africa, was a diabetic and also suffered from the rare sleeping disorder of epnia where the patient stop breathing while sleeping.

Bob’s wife denies foul play

New Delhi: Gill Woolmer, wife of the deceased Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer, has denied any possibility of a conspiracy behind Woolmer’s death.

In an exclusive interview to NDTV India, Mrs Woolmer confirmed that Bob Woolmer was very depressed after Pakistan lost to Ireland in the World Cup as he could not believe how it could have happened.

She said she did not suspect any foul play or match fixing scandal. “No, I don’t see any conspiracy in his death. I am aware that his death is being viewed as a suspicious death. He had nothing to do with the match-fixing controversy and any such person being involved is highly likely. We never got any threats as far as I know”.

Brushing aside reports of a suspected overdose of alcohol, she clarified that Bob Woolmer was not taking any prescription drugs for diabetes.

She also shared that the two books being written by Woolmer were in the final stages and refused to give information about when they would be published.

Gill also shares why she did not go to Jamaica after Bob Woolmer’s death, his last e-mail, whether it was drug overdose or a conspiracy, his relationship with the Pakistan team, his books, on Cronje, threats he has received, his philosophy of life, his future plans and a lot more.

She said she used to chat with Woolmer every day when he “called us to get news of the family and everyday issues. He didn’t say anything specially but I could see him on the TV and I know him well enough to guess that he was under pressure. I could read the expression on his face. He shared his experiences with me at the time. He was very tired. All that cricket, living out of a suitcase, the time difference and the travelling was tiring”.

Gill said Bob had “Type 2 diabetes” but he was not prescribed any drugs for it. “All that reports about the drinking are also rubbish. He was taking prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs and that is it”, she explained.

She said she got to know about the death of Bob when she got a call from the doctor in the hospital in Jamaica. Gill said Bob had a very good relationship with the team. “They had a lot of fun together. The Pakistan administration really looks after him well. All the boys are very friendly, they are nice boys and I enjoyed their company. I never lived in Pakistan; I only stayed in a hotel when I visited. Bob also didn’t stay in the house too long. He was constantly travelling”, she added.

She said on the day of his death, they discussed some personal matters besides the defeat.

On his future plans, she said Bob’s contract with Pakistan was getting over in June, 2007, and he was planning to talk to the Pakistan (cricket board) chairman. “He didn’t speak to me regarding any comeback but it was a possibility but he had not made any decision as such. The Pakistan team’s poor performance affected him as any other big tournament that he lost as a coach (like to South Africa).” — PTI, OSR

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