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Home > Cricket > The Cup > Reuters > Report


Woolmer was very special to me: Inzamam

March 19, 2007 19:44 IST

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Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq had planned to discuss his future with coach Bob Woolmer on Sunday and was left shattered by the Englishman's sudden death following the team's shock World Cup exit.

Woolmer died aged 58 after being found unconscious in his hotel room less than 24 hours after debutants Ireland had knocked out one of the tournament favourites.

"After the press conference was the last time I talked to him. He asked me on the bus when we were coming back to the hotel 'what are your future plans? Can we discuss them tomorrow?,'" Inzamam was quoted as saying on bigstarcricket.com.

"After that he was in his room and I was in my room. Tomorrow never came."

Woolmer, 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.

"The first time I knew of Bob's illness was when our assistant manager rang me Sunday morning and said the coach is not feeling well and maybe he is upset," Inzamam said.

"When I went to see him he was lying on the floor and it was shocking for me.

"I will never forget him. He was a very good coach and a super human being."

Although the team took their early exit from the World Cup badly, Inzamam said Woolmer had put the defeat into perspective with a pep talk on Saturday evening.

"After the match against Ireland he was upset but he said to me and to all the players that these things happen in cricket," said the 37-year-old, who also announced his retirement from one-day internationals on Sunday.

"He told us about the 1999 World Cup when his South African team was knocked out in the semi-final after a tie. He was brave and knew how to handle the situation when everybody was feeling down.

"Bob was very close to me because I am the captain. I will never forget him. He was very special to me and to Pakistan cricket. He was a very positive man. Whenever somebody is in trouble, not in good touch or good form, he was always helpful and his feelings were with them. He was friendly with the players.

"I've enjoyed working with him and I have learned a lot from him. He had a big role in the team... he has been involved with cricket for the last 40 years and he has passed on that experience to us."

Inzamam's full statement on bigstarcricket.com:

"Bob has been working with us for the last three years and he is a big loss for us because he was a good man. The whole team is sad about him. I am also very upset for his family.

Bob was very close to me because I am the captain. He was a very positive man. Whenever somebody is in trouble, not in good touch or good form, he was always helpful and his feelings were with them. He was friendly with the players.

He was a very good coach but a super human being. Because of this he had a lot of respect from the team.

After the match against Ireland he was upset but he said to me and to all the players that these things happen in cricket. He told us about the '99 World Cup when his South African team was knocked out in the semi-final after a tie. He was brave and knew how to handle the situation when everybody was feeling down.

After the press conference (following the game) was the last time I talked to him. He asked me on the bus when we were coming back to the hotel "what are your future plans? Can we discuss them tomorrow? After that he was in his room and I was in my room. Tomorrow never came.

He will be well remembered. Now we are in trouble because we are out of the World Cup but over the last three years our win ratio is very high.

I enjoyed working with him and I have learned a lot from him. He had a big role in the team, arranged practice, made the plans, talked to the boys about what they were doing wrong. He has been involved with cricket for the last 40 years and he has passed on that experience to us.

The first time I knew of Bob's illness was when our assistant manager rang me Sunday morning and said the coach is not feeling well and maybe he is upset. When I went to see him he was lying on the floor and it was shocking for me.

I will never forget him. He was very special to me and to Pakistan cricket.

On the cricket side of things, I will be retiring from one-day internationals. I feel it is the right time for me to go from the one-day scene but I would still like to play Test cricket. I still feel I have some more cricket in me yet as far as Tests go."


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