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March 23, 2007

World Cup 2007

Why Pakistan needs a Woolmer sports institute

Kamran Abbasi





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
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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.

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

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Posted by attersollmget on (August 11, 2011, 0:47 GMT)

Hi!!! Nice forum. This my first post.

Posted by syed on (April 10, 2007, 13:28 GMT)

Bob's death was a tragedy, he died of natural causes, but Mark Shields has made a mountain from the mole, and media has left no stone unturned to support Mr. Mark sheilds. It has shocked me, how the media and agencies associated to deal with this case have expolited the death of a gentleman of cricket to take advantage of the situation. If Bob was strangulated how did he go to bathroom to vomit on the walls?how Mark Shields can explain this?

Posted by Buddu on (April 7, 2007, 21:58 GMT)

I am a little dissapointed that pakintan would bring in regigion into sports. I always say there is a place for religion and a place fro sports. When we all get on thefield we are sportsmen first before ant religion as one would like to play a fair game. The coach of the Pakistan team was a great man who really felt his loss with the team losing. May he always be blessed, who ever did this to him will suffer no matter which God he faces. Pakistan get of your butts and play a game that you enjoy, keep politics and religion out as there is no place for it. God bless the coack's family and him.

Posted by Syed Imam Haider Abbas on (March 29, 2007, 22:38 GMT)

I think we should take a deep breath. We all know that India and Pakistan didn't play well. But this doesn't mean that we are allowed to say anything we want. It's all in the game. Only one team can win the match. We should have the courage to accept our defeat as well. Proper action should be taken by the PCB. Also against the murderer of Bob. Pakistan has the chance to prove that they are against this situation and should follow proper actions to rectify this matter. PCB should also pay attention to all players of Pakistan , like Wasim Akram and Waqar Yunus. They should be a part of the team in the future and we need to take advantage of their experiences. First of all PCB must make sure that all players must be able to speak fluently English. For instance in Islam there is 'darhi'( beard ) but Islam is not in 'darhi'. Becouse this kind of impression doesn't reflect Pakistani international character. I still have great respect to all players of all countries that are participating this tournement. Offcourse it feels very bad that Pakistan and India are out...but next time better.... Our thoughts are with the Family of Bob.

Posted by Samad Saharan on (March 29, 2007, 20:07 GMT)

looks like pakistan cricket reputation has gone as low as it cud poosible can now

Posted by M Yamin on (March 29, 2007, 19:04 GMT)

It seems to me that Mark Shields, the detective investigating the Bob Woolmer murder is more of a showman. So far no breakthroughs but announcements e.g. Pakistani team questioned, not questioned; second autopsy ordered, not ordered; CCTV footage clear, not clear; time of murder determined, not determined.

Mr. Shields, for all practical purposes, do your job. The rumor mill is not going to stop and the media WILL speculate. You do your job and speak only when there's been a break through. People are hanging on to every statement you make. I don't care what evidence you found or hope to find. Just find the person and we will have enough time later to analyze how you got to the bottom of this sordid affair. Everyday I read your comments to the press and it looks like you just want to grab onto your 15 minutes of fame.

Posted by dheeraj on (March 28, 2007, 16:28 GMT)

I don't think Bob was murdered . I think it was a proabably an accident . I think like this because the motives and theories for woolmer's murder appear far fetched . The pakistan Ireland match would not have been fixed because the bookies needed Pakistan to progress to get more buisness in betting especially in the electric India - Pakistan encounter . And if it was due to some bookies who lost some money on the match their anger would have been directed at the pakistan team for their spineless batting performance . The only evidence pointing to a murder is a broken neck which can also be due to a fall . this uncertainity could harm the game more than anything else . therfore i prayy for aspeedy solution .

Posted by Tauqeer on (March 28, 2007, 8:46 GMT)

All the comments by Zain Kazmi, zain saab kisne aapko editor kisne banaya, self confessed editor and judge. you collected all the nonsense and praising all the senseless comments,grow up, Mr Kamran has given a sincere suggestion. This is to Kazmi and all the other fanatics like him, First achieve something in life as inzi does and even half of could do.

Posted by sandy on (March 27, 2007, 12:34 GMT)

idiots do not waste your time on match fixers & money soinners. forget cricket & pay more attentions to some good games. willl u learn any thing from this?

Posted by Kedar Pandit on (March 26, 2007, 11:49 GMT)

I think it is an interesting article and some of your ideas are potentially radical. Having followed Indian/Pak fortunes for the past 30+ years (Sunny/Kapil/Z/Imran/JM days to Sachin/SG/RD/Inzy era), more than 18 of it from the relative objective environs of England, I must confess at never been as depressed at our combined showing in a show piece event. I shall however restrict my comments to India as it is a graver problem as Pakistan true to its mercurial form shall rise again, make no mistake about it. Its batting however is a big concern. GC was a great batsman, but his man management from the tough as nails Aussie school was always likely to be at loggerheads with the Indian "Theek hai/Chalta Hai" psyche! The other problem of course I feel is RD's classic "middle class safety first" mentality which combined with his own insecure traits made it practically impossible for him to be perceived independent of GC’s policies. This was always likely to back fire. SG is one hell of a politician, no doubt about it, but has fire in his belly. This makes him highly annoying to the typical Aussie/English counterpart. I should know having played first division in England for years with county pros as well as various off the record chats with some old timers. For all his technical deficiencies, he was one guy who could more often than not rise above it and take his team with it. His records prove that.

Strangely I think that the biggest problem is our lacklustre bowling and fielding. Only in India a potential fast bowler starts his career by bowling super quick yorkers at 90+mph, only to turn into an average county trundler in next to no time! How GC could not get one of the new boys to be an out and out quick is beyond me. Personally I still think that the batting retains potential and feel that SRT should either open or be the finisher devoid of all fears at that stage. Give him a few chances and if he fails, it is time to go, no second chances there. I would suggest the following: 1. SG to take over, with a view to grooming Kaif as his deputy. 2. SRT should be allowed to add value for a few years if his body lets him. 3. Munaf and Irfan should be bowling at minimum average speeds of 85+mph, if not show them the door. 4. Drop Bhajji and only bring him back when he learns to bowl round the wicket! 5. Bowling coach is a must - Wasim Akram or Troy Cooley? 6. Sachin must play county circuit on early season wickets, will help him tremendously in terms of coping with bad wickets and play himself in. It will also tell him whether he still has the reflexes to go at this level. 7. Persist with Robin, he is a good lad. 8. Show Sehwag the door for the foreseeable future. 9. Arrange maximum India v India A type fixtures on bouncy tracks. Ideally send India A and Under 21 teams to England, SA and Australia to compete against local grade champions/counties. 10. As BCCI reform is unlikely in my own life time, I shall steer clear of such pipe dreams! Indians are the pits when it comes to altruistic acts and BCCI is a great reflection of that. 11. Brace yourself for a GC backlash in print and video media soon! 12. If Irfan can't bowl, then don't pick him, don't need another Ravi Shastri! 13. SG and SRT to double the gym load if they want to play for another 3-4 years as it is feasible. RD appears fit enough. 14. Retain Dilip as the selector and give him more powers. His no nonsense approach will pay off. 15. Adverts control a must, players’ human rights notwithstanding!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kamran Abbasi
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and wisden.com. Kamran is the international editor of the British Medical Journal. @KamranAbbasi

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