Considering yesterday there were regular three-ways between Paul Harrison [in Jamaica], Alex Crawford [Pakistan] and Emma Hurd [Cape Town] they’re certainly not taking the story lightly. Not that you can’t, obviously.
‘Mystery And Malevolence’ Updated: 14:45, Saturday March 24, 2007
Sky News Presenter Jeremy Thompson, who knew Bob Woolmer for more than 25 years, reports from Kingston on the death of a man of "honesty, integrity and kindness".
The air in Jamaica embraces you like a warm, clammy blanket. And it doesn’t take long to realise the story of Bob Woolmer’s murder envelopes you in much the same way.
The mystery and malevolence of this crime hangs heavy over Kingston and the whole Cricket World Cup.
The place is abuzz with it. Everyone here has a view and is only too keen to tell you.
As I strolled near the Pegasus Hotel, where Woolmer died, cricket fans and passers-by came up to tell me their theory.
"He was definitely bumped off by the mafia because he knew too much," one man assured me. "He was going to blow the lid on cricket match-fixing," said his friend. "He was poisoned before being strangled," said another.
But as Paul Smith, one of Woolmer’s cup-winning Warwickshire team of the 90s, told me: "Bob was one of the most decent men in cricket. He would never have anything to do with match-fixing and I don’t think he’d ever be a whistleblower on the corruption in cricket."
I must say I agree. I’d known Bob Woolmer off and on for some 25 years since I first met him when I was covering the first rebel England cricket tour to South Africa in 1982.
He was still playing then. I can always remember Bob taking me off to show me proudly the work he and others were doing to promote cricket in the coloured suburbs and townships.
In particular his pet project was Avendale Cricket Club at Athlone where young non-white cricketers were flourishing despite the apartheid regime.
For Bob, cricket and the players always came first.
He was a man of honesty, integrity and kindness.
He managed through encouragement, support and friendship. He was last man to fall out with his players and I never met anyone who wished him harm. Gill, Mr Woolmer’s grieving wife
So looking up towards room 374 on the 12th floor of the Pegasus Hotel it’s hard to imagine what went on in that room sometime early last Sunday morning and who would have wished him ill.
The latest I’m hearing is that CCTV footage from inside the hotel has so far revealed little. And the hotel security say no-one else used a swipe-card to open his door.
So we have the ultimate murder mystery. There appears to have been no break-in, no major signs of a struggle, no theft, no obvious motive.
Just a body and dozens of potential suspects.
The whole Pakistan team has been questioned, fingerprinted and DNA tested, as has everyone else who had access to the 12th floor at the Pegasus, including some West Indies players and officials who are staying here too.
The Pakistan squad, so ignominiously eliminated from the Cup after the defeat by Ireland, were heading home late Saturday.
Though Jamaican police have apparently spoken to their counterparts in Pakistan to ask for help should their investigation reveal anything incriminating about any member of that cricket squad. The two countries have no extradition treaty.
Certainly it’s hard not to link Pakistan’s exit from the World Cup with the Woolmer tragedy.
The Cricket World Cup itself goes on. The streets of Kingston have been full of West Indians noisily celebrating their latest victory and progression to the Super 8 stages.
But everyone knows the Cup is somewhat tarnished by Bob Woolmer’s death.
It’s not the West Indies’ fault. It’s just Jamaica’s bad luck. And it won’t go away until the police discover what really happened and end the speculation.
Why has JT got the same jacket on that Paul Harrison had? [Random observation ]