Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer died aged 58 on Sunday after
being found unconscious in his hotel room the morning after his side’s shock
World Cup exit, the team announced.
“Robert Andrew Woolmer has passed away today and the entire Pakistan team
and management are shocked and saddened by his passing,” team spokesman Parvez
Mir said, reading a statement.
“His next of kin have been informed and we extend our deepest condolences
to his family. The chairman of the PCB has also been informed.
“There will be a coroner’s inquest and in keeping with Jamaican law an
autopsy will take place into his death.
“Further information will be released by the PCB at the earliest
opportunity once it has been received from the hospital.”
Although Mir declined to confirm the cause of death or if Woolmer had died in
his hotel room or hospital, he added: “Hotel staff found him about 1030. He
was laid out on the floor, with mouth wide open and blood on the bathroom floor
… and there was vomit on the walls.”
He also said Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq was “totally shocked and
bewildered” by the news.
Woolmer had seen his team crash out of the World Cup on Saturday after a
shock Group D defeat by debutants Ireland at Sabina Park.
The former England batsman was made coach of Pakistan in June 2004. The job
of coaching the national team of the cricket-crazy country is considered one of
the most pressurised in the sport.
Woolmer, who has a distinguished career as a coach, appeared to take the
three-wicket defeat to debutants Ireland in his stride following the match.
His contract with the Pakistan Cricket Board was due to expire on June 30 but
it was widely expected he would part company with them after the World Cup which
is scheduled to finish on April 28.
“I would like to sleep on my future as a coach,” Woolmer said in
Saturday’s post-match news conference.
“It’s what I do best, what I try to do best. Therefore I’m not going to
throw away coaching just like that.
“However, internationally I will give it some thought. Travelling and being
involved non-stop in hotels and so on takes its toll.”
Before turning to coaching, Woolmer played 19 Tests and six one-dayers for
England during the 1970s.
As news of Woolmer’s death spread around the Caribbean, England team
spokesman Andrew Walpole told reporters in Gros Islet, St Lucia: “Our thoughts
are with Bob’s family. This has come as a huge shock to all of the England
“He was a figure who commanded great respect within world cricket and he
will be sorely missed.”