Bob Woolmer's murder has set off a debate over whether the World Cup should be called off. Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive, made the opening statement on Thursday, saying the tournament would continue and 'would not be put off by a cowardly criminal act".
"This is not the first time that tragedy has visited a sporting event," Speed said, "but what we must all do now is to show how resolute the game is by proving ourselves strong enough to move on from what has happened."
However, Allan Donald, the former South African fast bowler who played under Woolmer, asked for the World Cup to be called off. "I just don't know how this World Cup can continue under the shadow of what's happened," Donald told BBC Radio Five Live. "World Cup 2007 will be forever remembered for this [Woolmer's murder]. My personal opinion would have been to stop, but knowing Bob he would have wanted this to go ahead.
"I think everyone will continue this World Cup but, at the back of their minds, know that a tragedy took place. I just hope the individuals or individuals are brought to justice because Bob was a great man and would never go to the lengths to put his life in danger."
Goolam Raja, the South African manager, said the team wanted to continue. "He [Donald] does not speak for the team," Raja told Cricinfo. "I think obviously the players are sad over the tragic events and the cause of Bob's death does affect the team, but they want to continue on."
Michael Vaughan echoed Speed's sentiments and said that the World Cup had to continue in spite of the tragedy. "It's a horrific time for world cricket. We all knew what a good bloke Bob was," Vaughan told AFP. "Whatever goes on the field, this incident is a lot bigger because someone's life has been taken away. But I think the World Cup has to go on, the game has to go on. I can understand his [Donald's] emotion and his thoughts there but the best thing for this game is to show it in a great light."
Cricket Australia also strongly agreed that the World Cup should continue while sending their condolences to the Woolmer family. Andrew Symonds also expressed his desire to continue. "The team is obviously sending our heartfelt regrets to his family," he said. "Bob, being a cricket man, I would think that he wouldn't want it to stop. I think he would probably want the games to roll on and the competition to end."