Saturday, March 24, 2007

Robert Andrew Woolmer 1948 - 2007

It is with heartfelt sorrow that such a charismatic, popular, and talented thespian in the shape of Bob Woolmer should die so suddenly at the age of only 58, but to have been 'murdered' is truly devastating news to his family, relatives, friends, fellow students of the game, cricket fans and in fact all sports fans in general.

I ask you, will International competitive sport ever be able to fully recover from this tragedy.

The truth about why he was murdered is still unclear, however there are numerous rumours flying around, as one might suspect under the circumstances.
We are all aware of the corruption/match fixing allegations coinciding with the imminent release of his book, as put forward by many a journalist this past week.
But if it does turn out that corruption has played a part in his death, then how can we the public ever trust the outcome of any sporting event in the future to have been truly genuine.
Most of us like a flutter, as it adds to the interest of the event in question, and as in all sports there are always going to be shock results and outcomes.
Cricket is in the spotlight this next week, but next week it could be football, horse racing, golf, tennis.....whatever.

In professional sport 'greed' is the root of all evil.
People, human beings like you & I will always be susceptible to the lure of making money, even if you already have plenty. It may seem improbable that you will be suspected let alone caught. Who will know if you are not giving your best, not trying your hardest, not bothered if you win, lose or draw - if you can cash in big time.

Nobody.....until one day it all goes wrong, as inevitably it will, and you and/or your family are caught up in something bigger & more dangerous than you can handle!
You may not even have been involved directly. You may have been an unsuspecting pawn in a real life crime.

Mr.Woolmer may not have been involved, but he may have been aware of certain instances where match fixing was apparent in the sub-continent.
Knowing too much about something may turn out to have been instrumental behind his 'murder.'
Information & knowledge are powerful tools and may have proved in this instance to have been as dangerous as taking part in the practice itself!

Sincere and heartfelt condolences go to his wife, Gill and sons Dale and Russell.

He will surely live in the hearts of his cricket fans in England, South Africa, Pakistan and all over the world.

Bob Woolmer
Career History:

1968: Debut for Kent.

1972: One-day international debut for England.

1976: Selected as one of Wisden's five cricketers of the year.

1977: The Centenary Test in Melbourne and England went on to take the Ashes 3-0.
Bob signed for Kerry Packer, and the establishment is not amused.

1984: He retired from first class cricket.

1991: Appointed Director of Coaching at Warwickshire County Club in England.

1994: Warwickshire won 3 out of 4 trophies and were runners up in the NatWest series.
He was appointed coach of South Africa

1994-1999: South Africa won 71% of its one-day internationals, and 10 out of 15 Test series under Woolmer.

2004: Appointed Pakistan's coach.

2007: The Pakistan team crashed out of the World Cup after being shocked by debutants Ireland. Found unconscious in his hotel room in the West Indies and later died in a hospital in Jamaica.

**Please do not make failures and successes on cricket fields a matter of life and death.

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