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Home > Cricket > The Cup > PTI > Report

Woolmer died of natural causes: Tariq Malik

April 03, 2007 16:05 IST

Tariq Malik, the millionaire who is said to be close to the Pakistan cricket team, has asserted that there was no evidence to suggest that coach Bob Woolmer was strangled to death.

"I don't buy it for one second that it was murder. It's still puzzling to me that there was no mention of any signs of strangulation in the first place," Malik told the Jamaica Observer.

"Personally, in the past, I have had a bad reaction to a meal, with similar vomiting and diarrhea that was seen, and I had fallen unconscious. Can you imagine a big man like Bob falling in a tiny bathroom -- he would have got a bad blow.

"I don't think he was murdered. And why is it said that his blood-testing machine was on the floor? Maybe he felt he was going into a diabetic coma," he added as he debunked the various murder theories doing the rounds in media.

Malik rubbished reports suggesting that the betting mafia may have got Woolmer murdered as he was about to blow the whistle on match fixing in cricket.

"There is betting in a lot of sports - that couldn't have anything to do with it," he said.

Miffed at being called a "hunted fanatic" after it was revealed that he was one among the three Pakistani fans sought for interrogation by the Jamaica police, Tariq said the media went after him because of him being a Muslim.

"Ever since 9/11, these tabloids keep picking on Muslims and people from Pakistan. While they (the Pakistani team) were in Kingston, they were just like family, having a good time. So here I am, trying to be a good host, and that paper is describing me as a fanatic," he said.

Recalling the fateful day, Malik said he was devastated on hearing about Woolmer's death and the media speculations have only added to the shock.

"I saw the management team outside looking very anxious. The doctor came out and told me the shocking news that Bob had died -- it was the last thing I had expected to hear," he said.

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