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March 20, 2007
The results of Bob Woolmer's post-mortem, conducted on Tuesday morning at a Kingston hospital nearly 48 hours after his passing away, were inconclusive. The pathologists have asked for further tests to be conducted.
Earlier, it was decided that once the autopsy results were given to the police in the afternoon, the body will be handed over to the Pakistan team, who will then keep it in a funeral parlour before the long journey to Cape Town. The casket will go with the team to London, with Murray Stevenson, the Pakistan trainer, then accompanying it to Cape Town, where Woolmer lived with his wife, Gill, and two sons.
"The deputy commissioner, Mark Shields, and the superintendent, explained the police procedure to us," said Pervez Mir, the Pakistan team's media manager. "Gill Woolmer authorised Murray Stevenson and the team management to officially identify the body. The autopsy would have started at 9:30 this morning, and the body will be released to us later this afternoon provided everything's fine. A [death] certificate will then be asked for.
"In view of the sensitivity of the circumstances surrounding the death, the police have sealed his room. The forensics have been in there, and the fingerprinting has been done. We won't know till afternoon what the findings are."
Nasim Ashraf, the board chairman, has also instructed Mir and Talat Ali, the manager, to journey to South Africa for the funeral service. The team leaves for Montego Bay on Thursday, and will then fly to London before heading home.
Woolmer, 58, was found unconscious in his hotel room in Jamaica yesterday morning and later pronounced dead. Reports have alleged Woolmer suffered from diabetes and had recently experienced breathing difficulties.
"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 10 minutes away, where he was pronounced dead at around 12 noon."
Shields' understanding is that at no stage did Woolmer regain consciousness. "As far as I know, he didn't. He was unconscious and may even have been dead when he was found but that's yet to be confirmed. That'll be part of the post-mortem, to discover exactly what time he died.
"I do know they treated it as though he was still unconscious and did everything they could to get him to hospital for resuscitation. Unfortunately, he was pronounced dead at the hospital."
Shields assuaged claims of the death being treated as suspicious. "We would always treat any sudden death - even in the UK - as suspicious until we can prove otherwise. We've had maximum co-operation from international cricket, the Pakistan team and everybody else involved at the hotel. I'm hoping we can wrap this up as soon as possible."
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