Pakistan remembers Woolmer

Team and offcials attend a memorial for the murdered cricket coach in Islamabad.

    Woolmer's death has led to one of the most complex murder investigations in Jamaican history [Reuters]

    'A second father'
    "We pay tribute to his excellent qualities. He was known for his passionate interest in cricket. We salute him for his professional competency, as well as his sense of responsibility and commitment," he said.
    "He was also a kind and gentle person who won the hearts of his players who looked up to him as a second father."
    Inzamam, accompanied by team-mates Salman Butt, Imran Nazir, Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Asif, Mohammed Hafeez and Kamran Akmal, said Woolmer was an "excellent coach and, above all things, was an excellent human being".


    "After Woolmer's family, the Pakistan team was the most aggrieved by his death," Inzamam said during the hour-long service.


    'A terrible tragedy'


    Nasim Ashraf, chairman of the Pakistani Cricket Board (PCB), described Woolmer's death as "a terrible tragedy" and said that he was a "rock of stability" who lived for cricket and loved the sport.


    "He was internationally known and was the first modern coach of cricket. The world will follow his method and teachings," Ashraf said.

    He remembered Woolmer as a man of simple tastes, choosing to live in a room at the National Cricket Academy rather than a five-star hotel, and a person who developed a taste for Pakistani food and films and understood some Urdu.

    "He would go to food street [a restaurant area of Lahore] and watch Pakistani movies and he once told me that 'the boys do not know that I understand half of their jokes'," Ashraf said.


    Ashraf lit candles and along with Khalid Maqbool, the governor of the Punjab region, laid wreaths around Woolmer's portrait on behalf of Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistani president.


    'Complex investigation' 


    Woolmer, 58, became Pakistan coach in 2004 and an initial improvement in the team's fortunes earned respect from many Pakistanis.

    The service was attended by Pakistan
    cricket officials and the national team [Reuters]

    His death has shocked the international cricket community and led to speculation over who might be responsible.


    The murder of Woolmer, also a former coach of South Africa, has led to one of the most complex murder investigations in Jamaica's history.


    It has also fuelled rumours about possible links to match-fixing and illegal betting in cricket.


    Around 50 officers are attempting to track down hundreds of  potential witnesses who were either visiting or staying at Kingston's Pegasus Hotel in the days leading up to Woolmer's death.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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