The silence of Bob Woolmer

Soon after Cronjegate, Woolmer wanted to put the rotten apple back in the basket. I mean he wanted to help Cronje make a comeback into the game - in some form or the other.

That Woolmer was silent through the Cronjegate period - and remained silent for a long time... There are rumours that he was about to end his silence on Match-fixing/Betting...

His biographer, Ivo Tennant, wrote in The Times newspaper:

"Rumours Bob Woolmer was murdered because he was harbouring information on match-fixing or an association with corrupt bookmakers can be dismissed unequivocally."

"As the co-author of his autobiography and its planned sequel, for which a publisher had still to be found, I can state that he had no intention of writing or publicising any such detail in either this or his book on coaching and sports science, which will be published in June."
"He had no knowledge of Cronje's involvement in match-fixing during his time as coach of South Africa. If there there had been any such approach to his Pakistan players, he would have told them to report it immediately to the manager or the Board of Control," Tennant wrote.

"Doubtless he would then have informed the police himself. Above all, Woolmer was an honest man. He did not mix with dodgy individuals.

"Doubtless the reason why Cronje did not tell Woolmer of his underhand dealings was because he knew that his coach would have no truck with them."

Can we really trust Ivo Tennant's words?

According to a report in

'Mafia behind Woolmer, Hansie's deaths'

Clive Rice, a former South African captain and a contemporary of Bob Woolmer during their playing and coaching days in England, has "absolutely no doubt" what happened on the 12th floor of the five-star Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica, last Sunday night.

Woolmer, he said, knew too much and ended up taking those secrets to the grave.

"What is more," said Rice, "Bob knew a lot of what went on during the match fixing scandal in which Hansie Cronje was nailed. I found it odd that he was never called as a witness by the King Commission."

It was that commission into match-fixing, chaired by retired Judge Edwin King, that sat in Cape Town in 2000 and which, according to Rice, was suddenly stopped once "Cronje had taken the fall".

"There were a lot more people involved," said Rice, "but the commission fell short in exposing this. Strangely enough it (the commission) never asked how spread betting works."

Woolmer and Rice were respectively the coaches of Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire when news of the match-fixing scandal first broke.

"We were actually involved in a match in England at the time and Bob and I discussed it.

"He told me a lot that never came out.

"I'm not just talking about other players being involved, but officials too."

"I am convinced his death wasn't an accident, and I will continue to believe that until the day I die."

If Rice is right, Woolmer knew a great deal about Match-Fixing.

Who is speaking the truth here? Ivo Tennant or Clive Rice?

Clive Rice is a well-respected cricketer. He was the South African skipper when the country was welcomed back to the international fold.

In the meanwhile, there is another interesting report:

The Jamaican police feel that the manuscript of the book (Discovering Cricket) that Bob Woolmer was writing holds the key to his murder mystery and suspiciously, even the manuscript is missing. Tim Noakes is believed to be co-author of this book and the Jamaican police think that Noakes could perhaps throw some light on the Woolmer murder mystery.

According to the police, the manuscript contains information that could have blown the lid-off the bookie-player nexus that someone wanted to hide. So in desperation someone was prepared to murder Woolmer. The theory has gained ground ever since the Jamaican police said that the book's manuscript was missing from the room even though no other possessions were touched.

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