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Woolmer's neck was broken: police sources
March 22, 2007 11:30 IST
Last Updated: March 22, 2007 11:45 IST
Suspicions that Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer was murdered were strengthened on Thursday with police sources saying that a bone in his neck had been broken, indicating that he may have been strangled in his hotel room five days ago.
External Link: From the Jamaica Gleaner: Woolmer strangled
A scheduled press conference by the police and the game's governing body, International Cricket Council, was called off without any explanation amid reports that both did not want to go public with the causes of the 58-year-old coach's death without being absolutely sure. Opinion of a second pathologist is being sought to verify whatever was found in the first report, which has not been made public.
In the absence of an authentic word on the causes of the sensational death of the coach, Jamaican media quoted police sources as saying that fresh evidence suggested that Woolmer was strangled in his room.
"A high-ranking police officer confirmed that fresh evidence has surfaced, suggesting that Woolmer was strangled in his room at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel between Saturday night and Sunday morning," a newspaper report said.
"A bone in the neck, near the glands, was broken and this suggests that somebody might have put some pressure on it," a report in Jamaica Gleaner said.
Quoting an unnamed police officer, the paper said that Woolmer was in fact attacked between Saturday night and Sunday morning.
A reporter of Radio Jamaica, Rohan Powell, also claimed that the former England cricketer could have been strangulated.
"I made contact with the ongoing investigation. The police will tell the public and journalists that the cause of death was strangulation," the reporter said.
"I have sources in the Jamaican police and I stick by my sources. Maybe they wanted to make some extra precautions (before making the findings public)" he said.
Pakistan team's media manager Pervez Mir said that the Jamaican police had not informed them about the actual cause of Woolmer's death.
"We have not received the final report from the police," Mir said.
The Jamaican police have asked a second pathologist to give a fresh report.
"Following consultations [on Wednesday] involving representatives from the Government of Jamaica and the police, a decision was taken to seek the opinion of a second pathologist," a statement from the Jamaica Constabulary Force said.
'The Gleaner' also said that Woolmer was found unconscious "just after 8.00 am" and not at 10.45 am on Sunday as earlier stated by Pakistan team media manager Pervez Mir, although the manager of the hotel where the team was staying found the information "grossly inaccurate".
The reports said the police had interviewed the hotel staff and studied the tapes of video surveillance cameras.
It was also reported that the Pakistani team was interrogated last night and there was a question mark over the players being allowed to leave Jamaica as initially scheduled on Saturday.
As per the schedule, the players were slated to go this morning to Montego Bay where they were to spend two days before flying out of the Caribbean.
But Mark Shields, Deputy Commissioner of Police, said the police had only shared the autopsy report with the team management and questioning the players was a routine.
"We have to treat all sudden deaths like this and we will continue with our investigations," Shields said.
Woolmer's mysterious death came a day after Pakistan suffered a shock defeat against Ireland and was eliminated from the World Cup.
He was found unconscious in his hotel room in Kingston in the morning and was rushed to Kingston University hospital where he was declared dead an hour later.Woolmer, based in Cape Town, South Africa, was a diabetic and also suffered from the rare sleeping disorder where the patient stops breathing while sleeping.
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