Full investigation launched in Jamaica March 21, 2007

Woolmer's death 'suspicious' - police

Cricinfo staff
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Mark Shields, Jamaica's deputy police commissioner, addresses the media regarding the death of Bob Woolmer © Getty Images

Police are now treating Bob Woolmer's death as suspicious, Mark Shields, the deputy commissioner of police, told a news conference in Jamaica. A full-scale investigation has been ordered.

"We have already informed the Woolmer family of these developments," Shields said. "Having met with the pathologists, our medical personnel and investigators, there is now sufficient information to continue a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Woolmer, which we are now treating as suspicious."

However, unconfirmed reports suggested Woolmer might have been murdered because marks were found around his neck.

Shields said the police had been in close contact with the Pakistan team management, the Cricket World Cup committee and the ICC, but he would not speculate on the cause of Woolmer's death. "It would be inappropriate for me to make any comment at this stage as we have still not got the final official report from the pathologists," he said.

Talat Ali, the Pakistan team manager, told Geo TV they had not been given full details by the police. "They have not made any reference to poisoning or anything yet, as some reports are suggesting," Ali said. "There is no information at all that this poison could be involved. Investigations will carry on so we cannot come to any conclusions right now."

Ali denied Pakistan were not allowed to travel. "There are no police restrictions on the team," he said. "As planned for now, we are flying back on Saturday."

Woolmer, 58, was found unconscious in his hotel room on Sunday and pronounced dead shortly after at a Jamaica hospital. Woolmer's family said after speaking to doctors they expected his death came from a stress-related heart attack.

His wife Gill told CNN-IBN, an Indian news channel, he did not complain of any chest pain after the match. An autopsy completed on Tuesday was inconclusive, but investigators were waiting for the results of toxicology tests to see if they helped determine the cause.