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Home > Cricket > The Cup > PTI > Report

Pak team to return home on Saturday

March 24, 2007 00:11 IST

The Pakistan team, which was questioned by Jamaica Police investigating the murder of their coach Bob Woolmer, will leave for home on Saturday from Montego Bay, the Pakistan Cricket Board's outgoing chairman Nasim Ashraf said on Friday.

Addressing a late evening press conference in Islamabad, Ashraf said the only detail yet to be confirmed with regard to their travel is the flight bookings.

"The team will leave Jamaica on Saturday at 1800 hrs local time (4.30 am Friday IST). They still have to have their air tickets and bookings confirmed. As soon as the logistics are taken care of the, the team will be coming back home," he told reporters.

- The Bob Woolmer murder story

"The team went through a harrowing time ever since it was announced that Woolmer was killed and died not of natural causes, and their families were anxious for their return. The cricketers have been through a trauma for the past few days and eager to return," he said.

"They were shaken and hurt and wanted to return home at the earliest."

To a question, he said, "No one has asked them to stay behind."

But Ashraf, who tendered his resignation after the team's poor showing in the tournament, said the team members and officials would cooperate with investigators and be available for questioning even after their return.

Asked about allegations that a betting syndicate and Dawood Ibrahim may have been involved in the murder of Woolmer, he said it was pure speculation and there is no knowledge or information of that.

"Let this investigation be completed. The ICC has an anti-corruption unit and every match is monitored and I am sure the ICC will get to the bottom of it," he said.

To another question whether Pakistan would be rushing any official to take part in the investigations, he said, "Jamaican authorities have not asked us for any assistance. They are quite capable. I am sure they will conduct the investigations in a most professional way."

However the Pakistan Foreign Office is rushing a diplomat from Washington to deal with the situation, he added.

On the email he received from Woolmer before his death, stating that he would be quitting as Pakistan coaching after the World Cup, Ashraf said he had seen it late and was very sad to read it.

He said the PCB plans to organise memorial services both in churches in Pakistan and other places in coordination with his family.

A one minute silence was observed on Friday at the investiture ceremony of Pakistan Day, where medals for meritorious service were presented by President Pervez Musharraf.

Woolmer has been awarded the Sitar-e-Intiaz medal in recognition of his services to Pakistan cricket.

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