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Last Updated: Friday, 23 March 2007, 23:50 GMT
'No threats of death' to Woolmer
Bob Woolmer
Bob Woolmer had coached Pakistan since 2004

The family of murdered Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer say they were unaware of any threats to his life.

In a statement, the family also said they had no knowledge of whether Woolmer was involved in match-fixing, as some media have speculated.

Jamaican police probing the ex-England player's death say they could be searching for more than one attacker.

Woolmer, who was 58, was strangled in his room hours after Pakistan lost to Ireland in the cricket World Cup.

The defeat dumped Pakistan - a talented but erratic team ranked fourth in the world - out of the competition.

Police say Woolmer may have known his killer or killers, and are studying video footage from the Pegasus Hotel in the Jamaican capital, Kingston, where he was killed.

Family 'devastated'

Flanked by Woolmer's widow, Gill, and their sons, Dale and Russell, Woolmer's agent, Michael Cohen, read a statement to reporters outside the family home in Cape Town, South Africa.

Kingston, Jamaica
1. 17 Mar: Ireland beat Pakistan
2. 18 Mar, 10.45am: Woolmer found unconscious in hotel room
3. 18 Mar, 12.14pm: Pronounced dead at hospital
Photo: Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center.

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

"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."

Reports in the media have suggested Woolmer might have been working on a book exposing illegal gambling in cricket matches.

The statement said the family were devastated by Woolmer's death and were struggling to come to terms with it.

A post-mortem examination established that he died as a result of "manual strangulation".

A local coroner ordered Woolmer's body to be kept in Jamaica until his inquiry was held, a police spokesman was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

Members of the Pakistan team and staff have already been interviewed, and plan to return home at the weekend.

Lines of inquiry

Suspicions that the coach may have known anyone who attacked him have been raised after it emerged there were no signs of forced entry at his hotel room in Kingston and none of his possessions was taken.

Bob was a large man - it would have taken some significant force to subdue him
Mark Shields
Deputy police commissioner

Woolmer was found unconscious by staff at the Pegasus Hotel on Sunday morning.

The deputy commissioner of the Jamaican police, Mark Shields, said this might now be a hunt for more than one killer, and urged the perpetrators to hand themselves in.

"Bob was a large man. It would have taken some significant force to subdue him," he said, adding that police were ruling nothing out and had "lots of lines of inquiry".

"I have to say at this stage that it looks as if it may be somebody who's somehow linked to him, because clearly he let somebody into his hotel room and it may be that he knew who that person was," Mr Shields told the BBC.


Mr Shields also "unequivocally dismissed" Indian television reports that arrests had been made.

"That's nonsense, as far as I'm concerned. There's actually no truth in that," he said.

The BBC's Andy Gallacher in Kingston says that Bob Woolmer's murder has stunned the cricketing world and left the World Cup in disarray.


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