Bob Woolmer passes away

Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer has passed away, hours after being found unconscious in his hotel room in Jamaica.

Woolmer, 58, was discovered at 10:45 this morning, passed out in a pool of vomit on his room floor. He was taken to the University Hospital in Kingston and rushed to the emergency ward.

Yesterday Pakistan suffered defeat by 3 wickets at the hands of Ireland, ensuring an early exit from the World Cup for Woolmer’s team. Woolmer was last seen in public at the post-match conference.

Following the game he told BBC Radio Five Live that he was contemplating his future in the game, noting that his contract with Pakistan terminates on June 30th.

“I have said I am reluctant to continue in international cricket purely because of all the travelling but I will stay in cricket at a different level,” said Woolmer.

Born in India, Woolmer played 19 Tests for England and scored 1059 runs (at an average of 33.09). He also played 6 one-day internationals, and was noted for his brilliant offside play. His finest moment on the international stage was perhaps his 499-minute vigil against Australia, as he scored 149 and saved the game for England in only his second Test.

Following his retirement, Woolmer began coaching at Warwickshire and achieved great success. It led to the more prestigious gig at the head of South African cricket, and he coached the international side for four years from 1994. In his stint, he pioneered the use of computers to detail gameplans and tackle opposition batsmen and bowlers through careful analysis.

Woolmer’s coaching style was innovative and energetic, as he attempted to make the sport fun in inspiring the players to success. He served as the ICC’s high-performance manager, then was announced to the coaching role of Pakistan in June 2004. He was contracted to serve until the end of the end of June 2007. However, given the poor performance of Pakistan leading into and during the World Cup, it seemed unlikely he would continue until the date of termination.

The news of Woolmer’s death is yet another tragic incident in a shocking series of events in Pakistan cricket. The last few months have included the infamous forfeited Test at the Oval against England, and doping scandals surrounding fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif. Pakistan’s early elimination from the World Cup seemed the climactic point of the travails.

Woolmer admitted to the pressures he faced as coach. “There are a number of extenuating circumstances in the last six months that have made coaching Pakistan slightly different to normal sides,” he said.

There are no confirmed reports as to the circumstances surrounding the tragic incident.

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