World Cup 2007 March 23, 2007

Why Pakistan needs a Woolmer sports institute

Bob Woolmer murdered





The institute would be an investment in the talent in Pakistan, a talent that Bob so admired but felt frustrated that he could not develop quickly enough © Getty Images

Bob Woolmer murdered? The world is shocked and ashamed that a such a genial and warm-hearted soul could die by somebody's hand. I keep saying it can't get any worse for Pakistan cricket and it keeps getting worse by gigantic leaps. It is likely too that the identity of the murderer will make the matter even more unpalatable. Throughout all this I am amazed by how dignified Bob's family have been at a time of utmost distress. They are people of genuine character and fortitude.

The President of Pakistan has already awarded Bob a distinguished civil honour. My suggestion would be for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to set up a sports science and cricket institute at a major university in Pakistan--and by this I don't mean another National Cricket Academy. The institute could be named after Bob or have a professorial chair named after him.

I think this would serve three purposes. First, it would create something that would chime with Bob's passion for the science of cricket and further the frontiers of knowledge. Secondly, it would be an investment in the talent in Pakistan, a talent that Bob so admired but felt frustrated that he could not develop quickly enough. Thirdly, it would mean the PCB had an onus to support the long-term development of Pakistan cricket, something again that Bob felt wasn't given enough attention while he was alive.

There is much to discuss about the future of Pakistan cricket but there will be time enough for that later. We require a pause for reflection on the life of Bob Woolmer and the tragedy that surrounds him and his family.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

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