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Pakistan cricket team's coach murdered
March 22, 2007 5:26 PM   Subscribe

Murder at the Cricket World Cup. The world's most civilised game just took a turn for the sinister. Less than 24 hours after Pakistan (rated fourth in the world) was roundly trounced by Ireland (first appearance at the Cricket World Cup), the almost universally-liked Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer was found unconscious in his hotel room and died in hospital. Jamaican police have just announced that based on the autopsy results they're treating the death as murder by manual asphyxiation.

This isn't the first time in recent history that Pakistan has been embroiled in scandal, nor the first time that Metafilter has discussed it, but this is in a whole new league. Is it a match-fixing scandal connected to far-Eastern betting syndicates, or something else?
posted by Hogshead (40 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I think Pakistan will go bonkers because of that murder ...
posted by homodigitalis at 5:36 PM on March 22, 2007


Fuck. I was really hoping all that speculation was wrong. As a Warwickshire man I had a lot of time for Bob Woolmer. For his life to have ended like this is just horrible.
posted by MrMustard at 5:39 PM on March 22, 2007


Escobar had been on the town with friends, carousing at a roadside dance bar called Restaurante el Indio, when three men and a woman accosted him at 3:30 a.m. They hurled insults at him for his slipup at the World Cup. When he flung back epithets of his own, two of the men drew handguns. "All of a sudden, we heard gunfire, and then Escobar was on the ground, groaning and clutching his chest," said Jorge Arango, a witness. Escobar had been shot 12 times. One of the assailants reportedly said, "Thanks for the auto-goal, you son of a bitch." The killers then took off in a Toyota pickup truck. Escobar was pronounced dead 45 minutes later.
posted by phaedon at 5:40 PM on March 22, 2007


More at The Home of Cricket online. (Disclaimer: I know very little about cricket but one of my colleagues is from Pakistan and visits that site regularly.)
posted by TedW at 5:42 PM on March 22, 2007


phaedon: There was a long and detailed investigation into Escobar's death which basically concluded that it had nothing whatsoever to do with his own goal and everything to do with him being mixed up with the wrong people. I don't think that's a reasonable comparison.

And by the way, what the fuck is an 'auto-goal'?
posted by MrMustard at 5:46 PM on March 22, 2007


mr. m: i dont want to derail this thread. i know jack shit about cricket, but i'm starting to read up about this woolmer issue and it seems to touch on a number of issues we try to sidestep in the united states. including gambling, doping and cheating.

as for your comments, i provided a link to a source. for what its worth, "being mixed up with the wrong people" and "getting killed for an auto-goal" are not mutually exclusive. and if you want to see what an auto-goal looks like, click the "slipup" link.

posted by phaedon at 5:51 PM on March 22, 2007


universally-liked Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer

Not quite universally it would seem. Just sayin'
posted by saraswati at 6:16 PM on March 22, 2007


The world's most civilized game, eh?

RIP Bob.
posted by jamesonandwater at 6:17 PM on March 22, 2007


Err. Missed the "almost". Can I replace my last comment with a "." then?
posted by saraswati at 6:17 PM on March 22, 2007


Murder's just not cricket.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:18 PM on March 22, 2007


phaedon: I've had a quick look for sources for the other side of the story, but I'm coming up empty right now. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I'm fairly convinced that there was actually no link between Escobar's shooting and his footballing mishap. It was just a coincidence that the media was all too happy to exploit.

I think you mean 'own goal' rather than 'auto goal'. And there's only one truly great own goal.
posted by MrMustard at 6:22 PM on March 22, 2007


un/dis rail...one of the most moving things I have ever seen were fans outside a Dallas stadium channting his name and making it a dance in 94. Neither team happened to be playing... but they made it about him.
posted by hatchetjack at 6:52 PM on March 22, 2007


er.. that would be Escobar.
posted by hatchetjack at 6:53 PM on March 22, 2007


It is sad, yet fascinating.
posted by caddis at 6:56 PM on March 22, 2007


I pity the poor subcontinentals who genuinely love the game, but whose teams have too much to gain from throwing games to ever be a real threat of winning the World Cup.

Pakistan was beaten by Jamaica & Ireland? India was beaten by Bangladesh?

Gimme a fucken break. Send the lot of 'em home & let the real teams battle it out.

Simplest of all would be to simply cut straight to the South Africa v Australia final & do away with all the rest of the warmup timewasters.

(Aside from that, woohoo! Go Ireland!)
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:17 PM on March 22, 2007


Simplest of all would be to simply cut straight to the South Africa v Australia final & do away with all the rest of the warmup timewasters.

I'm not saying it won't happen, but this strikes me as a little presumptuous.

I'll be very interested as to how this Woolmer story pans out. Hell of a lot of gambling on cricket on the Subcontinent.
posted by Wolof at 7:37 PM on March 22, 2007


Just a little braggadocio.

May the best team win!

(and we will)
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:48 PM on March 22, 2007


Poor Woolmer:
Strangled in his very own bed as he read,
But thats ok -
Because he was old and he would have died anyway.

Don't blame
The Paki cricket hooligan, hooligan,
Because he'll never, never, never, never, never, never do it again
(not until the next time)

posted by UbuRoivas at 7:55 PM on March 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Auto-goal" is probably an artifact of the translation. "Autogol" is the term in Spanish (and makes sense in English too, I think, but it's probably not a real term).
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:18 PM on March 22, 2007


I pity the poor subcontinentals who genuinely love the game, but whose teams have too much to gain from throwing games to ever be a real threat of winning the World Cup.

Apart from 1983, 1992, and 1996, you mean? And no doubt 2011, when home advantage and the retirement of Australia's entire current team should mean a subcontinental victory.

(Not to mention that Sri Lanka are a good outside bet this time around. Bring on the Lanka-NZ final!).
posted by Infinite Jest at 9:25 PM on March 22, 2007


That was back when the bookies paid the teams to win.

They have since realised that it's easier for a team to deliberately lose a match than to deliberately win, especially against the current contenders.

But yeh, a Lanka - NZ final: that would be a great one to watch!
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:37 PM on March 22, 2007


The term I've heard for 'auto-goal' is 'own goal.'

How long until terrorists get the blame I wonder?
posted by Dagobert at 10:37 PM on March 22, 2007


This is a sad story, for sure, but the first thing that popped in my head was, "This is the most exciting thing in cricket since the cucumber sandwiches served at tea went off!"

Rumor in Australia is that the fix was in. Then again, it's cricket, so everyone's looking for a bit of excitement.
posted by maryn at 10:57 PM on March 22, 2007


The fellas were over for poker last Saturday night, and afterwards we were flipping through the satellite channels and caught the tail end of the Ireland-Pakistan match. One of the boys is from South Africa (and naturally, a big fan) and another is a former sports reporter from T.O. who regaled us with a story about a Canada-Bermuda game where Canada got nearly shut out and pretty much should've just walked home after the first 20 minutes. I barely understand the rules of the game, so they were translating for the rest of us.

Afterwards, the tongue-in-cheek consensus was that someone was gonna die for Pakistan's loss ("Yeah, see that guy? His whole village'll be bulldozed by this time next week.") This puts a new spin on our joking around, that's for sure.
posted by solid-one-love at 11:28 PM on March 22, 2007




Watching this on TV at the moment, they deny that any arrests have been made.
posted by Infinite Jest at 12:04 AM on March 23, 2007


UbuRoivas - "Pakistan was beaten by Jamaica & Ireland? India was beaten by Bangladesh?"

Pakistan lost to the West Indies and Ireland. The West Indies being quite different to Jamaica, although that's where the game was played. And is Bangladesh beating India really so out of the question? Didn't Bangladesh humble the mighty Australia in a one-day game not so long ago?
posted by MrMustard at 12:48 AM on March 23, 2007


Apparently not, indeed, Infinite Jest.
posted by bunglin jones at 1:36 AM on March 23, 2007


This is all over the news here in Dublin... primarily because he was strangled shortly after losing to Ireland, I think. Also, apparently there was something in the paper yesterday about how the Irish Cricket Association (or whatever they're called) didn't have enough money to keep the team over there for their remaining matches, because nobody expected them to make the Super 8. Obviously they'll scrounge it up, but it's still pretty funny.
posted by antifuse at 3:19 AM on March 23, 2007


Oh, and also funny: apparently, a friend who is going to Antigua with her British boyfriend is quite annoyed because he's threatening to cancel the trip if England doesn't make it through (and apparently there's a cancellation clause in their trip booking that allows this... it's a British tour group going). She's still going without him even if England doesn't make it through... she doesn't give a fig about the cricket, she just wants some sun! :)
posted by antifuse at 3:22 AM on March 23, 2007


Simplest of all would be to simply cut straight to the South Africa v Australia final & do away with all the rest of the warmup timewasters.

I wouldn't be so certain. New Zealand are looking mighty impressive at the moment and it would be foolish to discount Sri Lanka either.
posted by bap98189 at 4:09 AM on March 23, 2007


this is totally shocking, and, like many who follow the game, my thoughts are with Bob Woolmer's family.

This is going to have some extremely serious repercussions for cricket; a cancelled World Cup will bankrupt the ICC, and, if some of the more lurid speculation turns out to be true, then the integrity of many games will now be open to question.
posted by johnny novak at 4:23 AM on March 23, 2007


the retirement of Australia's entire current team

Don't worry, Ricky's still quite young.

I reckon it's an aggrieved subcontinental bookie who's just lost a few crore.
posted by wilful at 4:26 AM on March 23, 2007


Sorry to derail but here's some more comments from Warwickshire CC past & present about the untimely death of a cricketing legend.

Thanks for for making Warwickshire winners in the 90s Bob, RIP.
posted by i_cola at 5:53 AM on March 23, 2007


Thanks for that link i-cola. Warwickshire were awesome under Woolmer's guidance.
posted by MrMustard at 6:56 AM on March 23, 2007


Someone on another forum pointed out that Woolmer was coaching South Africa when the Hansie Cronje affair blew up. Obviously don't want to just spread a smear by association, but thought it might be worth noting.
posted by Abiezer at 7:50 AM on March 23, 2007


Sri Lanka look like they're going to send India home any moment now. India and Pakistan both missing from the world cup? Crazy. I predict riots in the sub-continent.

And Bangladesh trounced Australia in a game last march. Ashraful got a century. Brilliant stuff.
posted by chunking express at 1:49 PM on March 23, 2007


I predict riots in the sub-continent.

Riots in the subcontinent? You joke. What's your next prediction? That the sun will rise tomorrow?

Ashraful got a century.

Yes, we've had a brimful of that bloke.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:59 PM on March 23, 2007


And Bangladesh trounced Australia in a game last march.

Trounced? They got home with 4 balls to spare. It was a good win though. And they followed it up with a win against Sri Lanka at home.

I see Bangladesh as at the same stage as Sri Lanka in the 80s. Look at their side and there is a lot of talent there, and they are all about 17. They will be the next country to make the move up now that politics has ruined the Zimbabwe team.
posted by markr at 5:28 PM on March 23, 2007


Here in India the whole thing is very, very big news. Last night I was taking an autorickshaw home with a friend, and the very talkative driver, assuming we were new to the place, took it upon himself to tell us all about Indian culture. He told us that there are many bad people here, but also many good people-- then swept his arms about grandly and said that the same was really true everywhere, India or America, people are the same.

Then, the subject turned to cricket and the world cup, and the murder of the Pakistan coach. "You see how it is," the man said, shaking his head. "They are very violent people. I do not like Pakistan people. We have problems in India but it is not everything here, we are not fighting and killing all the time like those people."

"But, you, know, aren't people the same everywhere, like you just said?" I asked. "India, America, Pakistan-- some good, some bad?"

"Not Pakistan. Pakistan is different."
posted by bookish at 2:56 AM on March 24, 2007


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