Woolmer's death brings tragedy to World Cup
Tragedy struck the World Cup cricket tournament when the news broke
out that Bob Woolmer, the Pakistani coach had died.
Woolmer was found unconscious in his hotel room and was rushed to
University Hospital and died an hour later. Woolmer was discovered lying
on the floor in his hotel room with vomit and blood round him.
Woolmer, 58, had been a diabetic and had complained of breathing
difficulties before leaving for the World Cup. He is survived by his
wife Gill and two sons, who are in South Africa. He played 19 Tests for
England and worked as coach in three countries.
Obviously Pakistan's loss to minnows Ireland would have been too much
of a shock for the coach. With this defeat went out chances of
proceeding further in the World Cup was bleak and knowing what the
reactions of the fans back home, would have been too much shock and
pressure on Woolmer.
I met Woolmer when the Sri Lankan under 25 cricketers toured South
Africa under Sanath Jayasuriya. Woolmer was then the coach of the
Proteas and in a chat with him, he spoke highly of our under 25
cricketers and said that from what he sees there was a lot of a talent
and that the game would make great progress if the talent is allowed to
develop and progress.
That team to South Africa had players of the calibre of Muttiah
Muralitharan and Pramodaya Wickremasinghe. Jayantha Seneviratne went as
coach and Jayantha Paranathala was the Manager. I represented the ANCL
Woolmer is not the first coach and cricketer to die in the West
Indies. Ken Barrington who toured here with the England team as Manager
was the first, the former England batsman.
Woolmer's passing away was moaned by all teams playing in the World
Cup. Here's what Brian Lara, the West Indies captain and hosts of the
World Cup said: My immediate thoughts are with his family and the
Pakistan team and my deepest condolences go out to them.
I had a wonderful relationship with Bob at Warwickshire in 1994 and
our relationship continued to grow over the years, even though we sat in
different dressing rooms.
He was a very focused man, with a great love for the game. But what
shone through was the great love he had for the players under his
charge, everyone meant something to him. Lara was quoted in the Trinidad
Incidentally Sri Lanka Cricket had been in touch with Bob Woolmer,
inquiring whether he would like to come over as coach. But no further
progress was made.
The Sri Lanka cricketers too were saddened by the death of Woolmer
and expressed their deepest sympathies to his wife and family.