Police wait for verdict on death of Woolmer

BOB Woolmer's post-mortem should be carried out within the next 24 hours, according to a senior police officer investigating his death.

The 58-year-old Pakistan coach was found unconscious in his hotel room in Jamaica on Sunday morning and later pronounced dead.

His passing came less than 24 hours after his side were knocked out of the World Cup by minnows Ireland, a result which prompted Inzamam-ul-Haq to resign as Test captain and retire from one-day international cricket.

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Mark Shields, Jamaica police's deputy commissioner, said Woolmer's widow Gill has given permission for the post-mortem to take place.

"I understand that Mrs Woolmer has given permission for a post-mortem and, therefore, that will be conducted either later today or tomorrow at the very latest," Shields said. "After that, the results of the post-mortem will be made available to the police and then we can speak to the family and the Pakistan officials to advise them what is happening."

Reports have alleged Woolmer, a former England batsman, suffered from diabetes and had recently experienced breathing difficulties.

Shields explained how he was discovered, saying: "It was about 10.45 Jamaica time yesterday morning when a housekeeper let herself into the room and found Bob unconscious. A nurse was called and a doctor very soon after that and he was rushed to the University of West Indies Hospital, which is about ten minutes away, where he was pronounced dead at around 12 noon."

Shields played down concerns over the death being treated as suspicious.

The cricketing world remained in mourning yesterday with Inzamam describing Woolmer as "a good coach and a much better human being".

Inzamam said Pakistan's exit from the World Cup paled into insignificance after the events of Sunday.

"It is very sad. Winning and losing is a part of the game but, after this news, everybody is shocked because he was a good coach and a much better human being," Inzamam said.

obituary, page 33