Anorak News | Bob Woolmer Murder – Broken Neck & Snake Venom

Bob Woolmer Murder – Broken Neck & Snake Venom

by | 23rd, March 2007

woolmer.jpgIF the plan was to make more people notice the sport, then this Cricket World Cup has achieved its objective by some distance.

For the few actually watching the show on Sky Sports, the biggest story was always going to be how fit the cricket into the holiday brochure.

With the commentary team bathed in sun and ensconced in a five-star beachside resort, viewers were treated to England’s Paul Nixon running into the surf topless with an equally underdressed Tim Abrahams, Sky’s cricket news man.

We live in enlightened times, and were encouraged to wonder how many of the travelling production crew were on a busman’s holiday, working the cricket around a civil partnership honeymoon.

But now that has been overtaken by news of Bob Woolmer, who began the tournament as Pakistan’s coach, and England’s coach-in-waiting, and ended it a murder victim.

As the Sun says: “IT WAS MURDER – Bob strangled in hotel room.”

Readers learn that Woolmer’s murder was “particularly horrific”.

Says Jamaican deputy commissioner Mark Shields: “Bob was a large man and therefore it would have taken some significant force in which to subdue him and cause strangulation. But of course, at this stage, we do not know how many people were in the room.”

Woolmer has died in “extraordinary and evil circumstances”.

There has been an autopsy. There’s a broken bone in his neck. Blood on the walls. Gashes on the face. Vomit. The report states Woolmer’s death was due to asphyxiation as a result of “manual strangulation”.woolmer10a.jpg

“STRANGLED & POISONED,” says the Star’s front page. “Test ace Bob murdered with snake venom in bath” – an added does of exotica into the blender.

“In due circumstances the manner of Mr Woolmer’s death is being treated by the Jamaican police as a case of murder,” says Shields.

While Sky’s team enthuse about the new sunloungers and the cameramen begin the quotidian search for a woman wearing a conch-shell bra, the Mail talks of murder.

It hears the words of Woolmer’s widow Gill. Says she: “Some of the cricketing fraternity, fans, are extremely volatile and passionate about the game and what happens in the game, and also a lot of it in Asia, so I suppose there is always the possibility that it could be that.”

Woolmer killed by a deranged and murderous fan after Pakistan were knocked out of the tournament by Ireland?

The idea of a cricket hooligan is an anathema to British readers. Cricket is a sport where men wear blazers and ties and so too their women. Lord’s, that bastion of cricketing excellence, is peopled by older men dressed for prep school. They eat salmon. The game breaks for tea. The crowd are allowed onto the pitch at the close of play.

175px-mcc_member.jpgIs a killer among the picnic baskets? Or a serial murderer?

The Express remembers Hansie Cronje, captain of the South African national cricket team in the 1990s. He was sanctioned for match fixing. He died in a plane crash. He was the only passenger aboard the plane.

Rumour. Speculation. Front-page headlines. Cricket has the lot. England’s footballers will really have to go some to regain their spot in the limelight.

England coach Steve McClaren should go all out for victory. Or else make ready to flee on a passing pedalo…

Posted: 23rd, March 2007 | In: Back pages Comments (4) | TrackBack | Permalink