Woolmer bowled out by mafia?

The world of corruption has once again cast its dark shadow over the game of cricket following the death of Pakistan’s coach Bob Woolmer.

The day after Pakistan’s shock defeat to cricketing minnows Ireland on Saturday, the former England International batsman was found unconscious in his hotel room by a maid at 10:45am. He was pronounced dead at 12:14am.

The murder has completely overshadowed cricket’s showpiece tournament in the West Indies, The ICC World Cup.

Speculation has now linked Woolmer’s death to a possible connection with the betting mafia, something which has all too often been prevalent in international cricket with cases of match fixing and bribery in the past.

"We have had a problem in corruption. But we believe over the last few years we have had corruption under control in an environment where there is huge betting on cricket,” said Malcolm speed, chief executive of the ICC (International Cricket Council).

Police in Jamaica are now looking into rumours that Woolmer may have had knowledge that the game between Pakistan and Ireland was rigged and was about to talk to cricket corruption investigators.

“We are checking reports that the match between Pakistan and Ireland may have been rigged with a syndicate of gamblers in Asia standing to make a fortune,” a police official commented.

"We are trying to discover if Bob Woolmer had suspicions about a betting coup."

Woolmer was also in the process of writing a book which many speculate may have contained information about corruption in cricket.

Scotland Yard have offered their services to the Jamaican Police to aid their investigation, but as far, this offer has been declined.

Back in 2000, former South Africa captain Hansie Cronje was accused of match fixing after allegedly being involved in a corruption with bookmakers. He admitted to providing bookmakers with inside information on games but denied ever fixing a match. Cronje was then banned from cricket for life before suspiciously dieing in a plane crash in 2002.

Editor, Jackpot.co.uk - 2007-03-23 11:45:01

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