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Pakistan players pay tribute to much-loved coach Bob Woolmer on his 13th death anniversary
Bob Woolmer 1948-2007

Pakistan players pay tribute to much-loved coach Bob Woolmer on his 13th death anniversary

It's one of the dark days in the history of cricket as the game lost one of the most dedicated, well-respected and visionary coaches—Bob Woolmer.

Under mysterious circumstances, Bob Woolmer was found dead in the team's hotel after Pakistan got eliminated from the ICC 2007 World Cup in the famous upset defeat against Ireland and on the very next day, the then Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer was pronounced dead in the Pegasus Kingston Hotel.

It has been somewhat of a mystery about what lead to the sudden demise of Woolmer as initially it was suspected that he died due to asphyxia but later there was consensus among the members of the investigation team that natural causes including an enlarged heart and diabetes contributed to his sudden death. 

Following his death, Pakistan players endured tremendous stress and trauma following their beloved coach's demise and at the time of grief, they were given a hard time by the investigation authorities.

The focus remained on the tragedy and the World Cup final scheduled after a few days understandably lost its charm and hype.

Younis Khan vividly remembers the chaotic scenes and how the players were seen as suspects which didn't please the seasoned cricketer.

“At one stage I got so angry with the way we were being treated I told the Jamaican authorities we are international cricketers, not criminals.

“I told them why are you suspecting us of murdering Woolmer. In him, we have lost a father figure,” said Younis Khan.

Robert Andrew Woolmer lived and breathed cricket. Born in the epicentre of cricketing activities, Kanpur, India, he developed a love for the game from an early age. 

He later moved to the birthplace of cricket, England and played 19 Tests and six ODIs for England before embarking on a coaching career. 

He was roped in as head coach of Pakistan in 2004 and he started his coaching stint on a positive note as Pakistan squared the Test series with India and won the ODI series by 4-2 in 2005.

Woolmer was awarded Sitara-e-Imtiaz for his invaluable contribution to Pakistan cricket.

Today, on his 13th death anniversary, Bob Woolmer is still held in huge esteem in the cricket fraternity and several Pakistan players including Inzamam-ul-Haq and Shoaib Malik have paid tribute to their friend and mentor.

“Woolmer and I spent time together in the Pakistan team in the capacity of coach and captain. We shared many great moments together. He was the most organised coach that I ever came across, Inzamam said."