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24 Mar 2007 19:38
Pakistan’s cricketers were expected to fly home from the World Cup later on Saturday with police denying rumours that arrests had been made over the murder of their coach Bob Woolmer.
Two Pakistani team officials were staying behind in Jamaica when the team departed, primarily to deal with issues surrounding Woolmer, said Jamaica deputy police commissioner Mark Shields.
He did not say who they were and there was no confirmation to Reuters either at the hotel in Montego Bay where they were staying.
Earlier, a police spokesperson denied reports that three people had been arrested in connection with the killing.
“No arrests,” spokesperson Karl Angell said. Shields declined to say what direction the investigation was taking.
“There is a lot of speculation, as you probably know, around what happened,” he said.
Woolmer’s body is being kept in Jamaica pending a coroner’s inquest.
The Pakistan coach (58) was found unconscious in his room at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel last Sunday and died later at a hospital.
Police said on Thursday he was strangled and his death was being treated as a murder.
The murder of one of the best coaches in cricket cast a shadow over the World Cup, being played in the Caribbean for the first time.
Police were still awaiting the results of toxicology and histology (body tissue) tests on Saturday.
Shields said high-level talks were under way to ensure cooperation from Pakistan even after the players leave Jamaica.
“I know for a fact that the Ministry of National Security has already spoken to the Pakistan government and we know that two officials from Pakistan are arriving today [Saturday] to be briefed by me on the investigation,” Shields told reporters at the hotel where Woolmer was killed.
“So there is good cooperation.”
Shields said two Pakistan team officials were voluntarily staying behind.
“Nobody is staying against their will,” he said.
Pakistan were expected to fly home via London.
The seven-week World Cup culminates in the Barbados final on April 28.
Woolmer sought help to write book
Meanwhile, it emerged that Woolmer had sought help from a Pakistan cricket journalist to write a book about his experience in charge of the national team, the writer said Saturday.
Osman Samiuddin, Pakistan’s editor of cricket website cricinfo.com told the Associated Press that Woolmer had approached him on September 18 last year via an e-mail.
Woolmer wrote that he wanted the help of writers from Pakistan, South Africa and England, “so that I can cover probably one of the more interesting periods of my cricket career”.
“I shall only start [the book] after the World Cup but I need to show a lot of different perspectives and the culture correctly which is where I had hoped you would come in,” Woolmer wrote in the email.
“I have not approached a publisher yet so not sure what is in it for anyone at the moment but I believe regardless of the money the story is worth telling and has to be told and in the correct way.
“I am not a name and shame guy, just the honest facts. Let the punter make up his mind etc. No hurry, but hoped you might be interested.” - Sapa-AP, Reuters
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