Police in Jamaica have no suspects in the murder of Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer at the World Cup, the island’s deputy commissioner said today, and the Pakistan cricket team will be allowed to leave the country.
Deputy Police Commissioner Mark Shields said: “There are certainly a number of lines of inquiry that we are looking at and we have some theories of what may have happened, but it is too early to go public with them.”
Woolmer was strangled on Sunday in his room at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, Police Commissioner Lucius Thomas said Thursday. The coach was killed a day after his team’s surprise defeat to Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day sealed Pakistan’s ousting from the Cricket World Cup tournament
Shields said authorities were asking Pakistan team members to give DNA samples to help eliminate potential suspects, and he appealed for witnesses to come forward.
“With that many people in the hotel, there is no doubt somebody saw something,” the former Scotland Yard detective said. Police said they were also reviewing footage from security cameras.
He denied reports that the Pakistan cricket team’s stay had been extended. The team flew to Montego Bay, on the western side of Jamaica, on Thursday after giving statements to police and being fingerprinted at their hotel in Kingston, the capital. They are scheduled to leave the country on Saturday.
Former Pakistan fast bowler Sarfraz Nawaz has claimed that Woolmer, 58, a former player for England, was killed because he was writing a book that would expose illegal gambling in the sport.
Pakistan team spokesman Parvez Mir told reporters that Woolmer was upset that proofs of his book had gone missing.
The head of the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption unit will investigate if match fixing has played a role in Woolmer’s death, ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed said.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan’s most prestigious civil award was made to Woolmer.
Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf said Woolmer would be posthumously granted the Sitara-e-Imtiaz, or Star of Excellence, in recognition of his contribution to sport, the state-run news agency Associated Press of Pakistan reported.
“Pakistan Cricket shall forever be indebted to his services and this nation will always remember him for the joys he brought into the lives of millions of Pakistanis,” Musharraf was quoted as saying in a condolence message to Woolmer’s wife Gill.
“We shall all greatly miss him. The cricketing world and Pakistan, in particular, will find it extremely difficult to fill the void Bob’s death has left behind.”