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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 March 2007, 15:48 GMT 16:48 UK
Key events in the Woolmer inquiry
Jamaican police have yet to arrest anyone for the murder of Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer. Since his death on 18 March, the inquiry has taken several dramatic twists. Below are the main strands of the case.


Bob Woolmer
Woolmer's death has cast a long shadow over the World Cup

Woolmer was found unconscious in his room at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston. He was taken to hospital, but never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead 90 minutes later.

Commentators immediately presumed a death from natural causes. The former England Test cricketer was 58 years old. As many pointed out, he was a big man. Was it a heart attack? Or perhaps a pre-existing medical condition?

But a post-mortem examination, the results of which were made public on 23 March, concluded what had previously been unthinkable: Woolmer was murdered.

Police commissioner Lucius Thomas said the former England player had died as a result of "manual strangulation".

"In these circumstances, the matter of Mr Woolmer's death is now being treated as murder," he told a news conference.

Rumours that Woolmer was poisoned before he was strangled are as yet unsubstantiated. Results of toxicology tests carried out more than a week ago are not yet known.

Meanwhile, reports suggest there may be a second post-mortem examination to confirm the findings of the first, and to allow Woolmer's body to be released to his South Africa based family.


Pakistan cricket team
Pakistan were dumped out of the World Cup by Ireland

Woolmer's career as a cricket coach was not without controversy. His proximity to some of the biggest scandals in the sport led to speculation that his murder was linked with international gambling cartels.

The late Hanse Cronje, who admitted match-fixing in 2000, was a key figure in the South Africa squad put together by Woolmer during his five-year tenure as coach from 1994 and 1999.

And crises dogged his time as Pakistan coach - with senior players failing drug tests and a ball-tampering row resulting in a forfeited Test match.

Pakistan bowler Sarfraz Nawaz was one of the many former players and commentators to put forward the theory that Woolmer was killed by a betting syndicate because he was about to reveal all in a book.

Jamaican police have done little to dampen this speculation.

Deputy commissioner Mark Shields told the BBC on Wednesday: "Of course one of those [theories] which keeps coming to light all the time is around match fixing and bookies. So therefore that's a clear line of inquiry."

There has also been speculation that Woolmer could have been killed by disgruntled fans of the Pakistan team - although no evidence of this has been publicised by detectives.

Theories that Woolmer could have been the victim of local criminals have been discouraged by Mr Shields, who points out that "99.99%" of victims of crime in Jamaica are local people.

And murders generally take the form of shootings and stabbings, rather than strangulation, he said.

The police have not ruled out the possibility Woolmer was killed by a professional hit-man.


Mark Shields, the deputy police commissioner in Jamaica
Mark Shields is a former head of the City of London Special Branch

Detectives believe it is likely Woolmer knew his killer or killers because there was no sign of forced entry at his hotel room, and nothing was stolen.

But the police have released little to suggest they have discovered any significant evidence.

Mark Shields said his team was studying the CCTV tapes from the hotel, and wanted to identify "every single person" in the hotel in the 72 hours before Woolmer was found.

"Please be patient because we are not going to rush this, we are going to do it properly, thoroughly and professionally and at the end of it may be that we might, we might identify a suspect from that process," he said.

Dr Nasim Ashraf, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, said Woolmer sent him an e-mail shortly after the defeat by Ireland announcing his plan to retire.

Dr Ashraf said: "It was the e-mail of a man who had been deeply hurt. He said that the boys gave it their best to the last minute.

"In that e-mail he had shared some of his thoughts, he told me that he was hanging up his boots and retiring from international coaching.

"However he told me that he would continue to be involved in cricket at the grassroots level."

And British newspapers reported that he had explosive rows with some of his players shortly before he was killed.

The police are studying Woolmer's lap-top computer and his mobile phone, but they have not commented on those theories.


Inzamam-ul-Haq was among the players questioned by police

Cricketers are rarely moved to tears on the field of play. But national captain Inzamam-ul-Haq's gestures to the sky and tears during the team's last match in the World Cup hinted at the strain he and his team have been under.

All-rounder Shahid Afridi told the BBC Urdu service: "It feels like part of your body is missing, like your father has been taken away."

Following the death of their coach, each player was interviewed and fingerprinted by police.

Team spokesman Pervez Jamil Mir described the questioning as "routine".

He said the players were asked when they had last seen Woolmer and whether there was anything unusual in his behaviour.

Meanwhile, Jamaican officials have been less than pleased at the reaction of the International Cricket Council to Woolmer's death.

They feel ICC bosses have been too low-profile.

The cricketing body's most visible contribution to the investigation has been the appointment of a liaison officer to co-ordinate matters relating to Woolmer's death with the police.


Gill Woolmer
Gill Woolmer said her husband had been depressed by the Irish defeat

Woolmer's widow, Gill, told Indian media how she had received an e-mail from her husband on the morning of his death - the day after Pakistan were beaten by Ireland.

"He did mention that he was really depressed and could not believe how this could have happened," she said.

Days later, the family released a statement denying Woolmer had any link to gambling cartels.

"To the best of the family's knowledge, there is absolutely nothing to suggest Bob was involved in match-fixing.

"Contrary to reports, we can confirm there is nothing in any book Bob has written that would explain this situation and there were no threats received."


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