The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Woolmer murder shadow lurks

Kingston, March 21: Jamaican police today said Bob Woolmer’s death was “suspicious” and required “full investigation” amid speculation that the Pakistan cricket coach may have been murdered.

When Woolmer was found unconscious in his Kingston hotel room in a pool of his own vomit, there was blood on his cheek and eyes and scratches on his neck, a website quoted police sources as saying.

The developments come a day after former Pakistan pacer Sarfraz Nawaz, known for shooting his mouth off, claimed that the match-fixing mafia was behind Woolmer’s death. Today, Pakistan’s Geo TV spoke of “poisoning”.

“The autopsy report was inconclusive,” Jamaica deputy commissioner of police Mark Shields said. “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.”

Asked if it could be murder, Shields said: “We are not saying that.”

Answering a question, he said: “We have no suspects.”

Pakistan media manager Pervez Mir, however, said: “The police suspect Woolmer may have been murdered.”

Although talk of the match-fixing mafia and murder is just speculation, what fuels it is that Woolmer was writing a book. Many suspect he may have wanted to spill a few names.

Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan said: “I still believe he died of natural causes.”

Reports from the Pakistan camp said that on Sunday, Woolmer was found lying on the floor with his mouth wide open. There was froth around his mouth, blood on the bathroom floor, vomit on the walls and signs of diarrhoea.

Reports of investigations by a toxicologist and a histologist have strengthened the buzz about poisoning.

Woolmer’s family, however, has blamed the death on stress. Hours before his death, the coach had cited how the pressure was taking a toll on him. In the tour diary he wrote a day before the Ireland upset, Woolmer had said the team knew how important the match was but was disappointed with write-ups in the Pakistani media.

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