Barbados (AFP) - Cricket’s World Cup was plunged into mourning on
Sunday after Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer collapsed and died just hours after his
team had been humiliated by Ireland’s part-timers.
Woolmer, 58, was a former England Test batsman and ex-South Africa coach and
widely regarded as one of the most innovative coaches in the game.
He was discovered unconscious in his hotel room in Kingston and was later
pronounced dead at a city hospital.
His death overshadowed the sixth day of action at the World Cup which saw
defending champions Australia crush the Netherlands by 229 runs and England
claim a 51-run victory against Canada.
Woolmer, who had been in the Pakistan hot seat since 2004, had told AFP late
Saturday that he felt devastated by his team’s stunning World Cup exit at the
hands of Ireland.
“I am deeply hurt and cannot tell you how it is going to affect me,”
The shock three-wicket defeat at Sabina Park in Kingston condemned Pakistan,
the 1992 world champions, to an early exit from the 2007 competition.
“I am shocked and badly hurt. We have lost a good coach and a good
person,” Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq told AFP.
Woolmer was last seen in public when he addressed the post-match media
conference at Sabina Park.Ironically, he talked of the stresses of the coaching
“Doing it internationally, it takes a toll on you - the endless travelling
and the non-stop living out of hotels.”
International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Malcolm Speed said: “We
are all greatly saddened by Bob Woolmer’s passing. He was a great cricket man.
His life was devoted to cricket.”