Pakistan team 'stressed' over Woolmer murder

Pakistan cricketers at the centre of the Bob Woolmer murder mystery continued their brief stay in London today.

Pakistan cricketers at the centre of the Bob Woolmer murder mystery continued their brief stay in London today.

The players are trying to unwind in a British hotel after leaving the Caribbean following their coach’s murder eight days ago.

They flew into London’s Heathrow Airport yesterday and checked in at the nearby Holiday Inn hotel just off the M4. The are due to fly home tomorrow.

Police in Jamaica are studying “critically important” CCTV footage of the hotel corridor outside the room where Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer was killed.

Jamaican police deputy commissioner, and former Scotland Yard detective, Mark Shields said the pictures from the 12th-floor corridor of the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston may identify his killer or killers.

Shields said police were pursuing a number of lines of inquiry with speculation rife that Woolmer may have been preparing to speak out on match-fixing.

He added: “It is critically important because it may give us an image or images of the killer of Bob Woolmer.”

He said he was powerless to stop the Pakistan team from leaving Jamaica, telling The Guardian that to do so “would have been to use a sledgehammer to crack a nut”.

“It would probably have caused a significant diplomatic incident and had an extremely adverse effect on the World Cup,” he said.

Captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and his players will stay in London until tomorrow before flying on to their home country, according to Pakistan Cricket Board spokesman Pervez Mir.

He said the last week had been incredibly “stressful” for the players and he reiterated comments that it was “unthinkable” that the team could be involved in Woolmer’s death.

The 58-year-old former England player died after being found unconscious in his room a day after Pakistan’s shock defeat to Ireland in the World Cup. He had been strangled.

Mir, who also flew into the UK with the team yesterday, said the players had co-operated “fully” with the Jamaican authorities and would continue to do so in the future.

He described extra questioning of Inzamam. Team manager Talat Ali and assistant coach Mushtaq Ahmed by Jamaican police on Saturday as “routine”.

He said it was due to the rush in which the team moved from Kingston to Montego Bay earlier in the week.

Mir has also denied claims from former PCB chairman Shahryar Khan that there was friction between Inzamam and Woolmer during their time as captain and coach.

Khan, who resigned after the controversial Oval Test between England and Pakistan last year, said that Woolmer enjoyed a reasonable relationship with the players, but there were problems with Inzamam.

He told Sportsweek on BBC Radio Five Live: “There was always a question mark regarding Bob taking total control of the team in every sense.

“There was resistance from Inzamam and perhaps successful resistance. Inzamam was the leader, the unquestioned leader of the team.”

Reports that Woolmer was involved in an argument with players on the team bus after the Ireland defeat at Sabina Park have been played down by Shields and dismissed by Mir.

Woolmer’s body will stay in Jamaica until an inquest is held into his death with a coroner ruling that it would be heard “as soon as practical”.

There has been constant speculation that Woolmer may have been preparing to blow the whistle on match-fixing in a book.

But on Friday night his wife Gill and sons Dale and Russell, who live in Cape Town, insisted there

was nothing in the book to explain why he was murdered.

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