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Last Updated: Monday, 26 March 2007, 09:36 GMT 10:36 UK
Mihir Bose view
BBC sports editor Mihir Bose gets inside sport
By Mihir Bose
BBC sports editor in Jamaica

Newspaper in Jamaica reporting events following Bob Woolmer's murder
Woolmer's death has completely overshadowed the World Cup and dominated the media, relegating the matches to inside pages

The Jamaican government has had misgivings about the way cricket's governing body has handled events arising out of the murder of Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer, the BBC has learned.

The government wrote to the International Cricket Council last week asking for the appointment of a liaison officer to co-ordinate matters relating to Woolmer's death with the police.

The letter was politely worded - and led to the wish being granted - but it reflected concern about the impact the death was having on Jamaica.

The country has invested a lot in this World Cup, spending 66.3m on preparations.

It also attracted 15.8m from the Chinese government to help build the stadium where the now infamous match between Pakistan and Ireland took place.

The investment was clearly made because the Jamaicans, like all the other islands in the Caribbean, expected the World Cup to attract huge numbers of tourists.

The initial estimate of 50,000 visitors was soon abandoned as unrealistic - this island does not have the hotel beds for such numbers - but until Woolmer's body was discovered Jamaica had every reason to feel pleased with what was happening.

The opening ceremony had gone very well, the matches were exciting, there was a terrific Cup upset in Ireland beating Pakistan and, to the delight of the hosts, the West Indies looked likely to recover something like the form that made them undisputed world champions in 1975 and 1979.

ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed with Jamaica's deputy police commissioner Mark Shields
The ICC has largely been in the background since Woolmer's death

But the murder has changed everything and, as I have been discovering in the last 24 hours, many members of the local organising committee are not best pleased with the way the ICC has reacted, or rather not reacted, to this event.

One senior member who has been involved in running major sports events such as Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games has made it clear to me that had such an event taken place in, say, the athletes' village at either event, officials would have been much more prominent.

Chief executive Malcolm Speed did attend a news conference held by the Jamaican police on Thursday, the day it was confirmed Woolmer had been strangled, but since then he has not been seen here.

President Percy Sonn has been even less visible.

It is difficult to imagine International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge, let alone Fifa president Sepp Blatter, behaving in the same manner.

The ICC could argue its officials are hopping from island to island covering the cricket matches.

But the fact is Woolmer's death has completely overshadowed the World Cup and dominated the media, relegating the matches to inside pages.

The ICC's official view is that this is now a police matter and the police must be left to deal with it.

Of course, the ICC is doing things behind the scenes. And the liaison officer the Jamaican government wanted is acting as the ICC eyes and ears. He is Jeff Rees, boss of the ICC's anti-corruption unit.

I am told he arrived on the island early last week and has promised to stay here indefinitely.

The Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica
Many hundreds of media persons have wandered about quite freely in the Pegasus Hotel with no-one questioning us or even asking us to show our credentials

Rees can clearly set up a close relationship with Mark Shields, the deputy commissioner in charge of the Woolmer investigation - both men used to work at Scotland Yard.

But this ignores the fact that since Woolmer's death - and in particular since it was confirmed he was murdered - there have in essence been two parallel stories here.

One is the story of the World Cup and the matches taking place; the other is the Woolmer investigation, which is the focus of the world media, who are hardly bothering with the cricket.

In fact all the real action is taking place in one hotel, on the 12th floor of which Woolmer's body was found.

Unlike Olympic or Commonwealth Games, Cricket World Cups do not have athletes' villages. Yet Woolmer's murder has highlighted how one hotel in Kingston, the Pegasus, is in effect the Olympic Village.

This is a multi-storey hotel where the four teams in Pakistan's World Cup group stayed.

Athletes' villages and even hotels which house Olympic officials have the highest possible form of security.

But I and many hundreds of media persons have wandered about quite freely in the Pegasus with no-one questioning us or even asking us to show our credentials.

Indeed I have been more often asked for identification when paying by credit card than when going in and out of the Pegasus.

You could say that the murder has taken place and imposing security now would be a case of bolting the barn after the horse has gone, but it shows the curious attitude to security at this World Cup.

It is inconceivable anything like this would have happened at a sports event organised by the IOC or Fifa

Equally revealing is the attitude of Shields, who from an unknown a week ago is now something of a media star.

Drafted in from Scotland Yard two years ago as part of Jamaica's attempt to cope with its crime problem, Shields is clearly loving the spotlight.

In many ways this makes him an endearingly open policeman - on Sunday morning as the written media crowded round him he simply asked them to come up to the office he had set up in the Pegasus.

But it also means that the media scrums forming at the Pegasus are not controlled in any way.

Indeed, my producer Jon Buckley had to organise the impromptu television news conference Shields gave on Sunday morning.

It is inconceivable that anything like this would have happened at a sports event organised by the IOC or Fifa.

This speaks volumes about how much cricket has to learn about running major events - especially when there is an unexpected crisis.

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