That's Just Not Cricket
Murder has rocked the world of white trousers, red balls, and willow bats
By Richard Whittaker,
6:15PM, Sun. Mar. 25, 2007
For those of you who think that cricket is something the genteel English do on a Saturday afternoon instead of playing a real sport, think again. Bob Woolmer, the British-born coach of the Pakistani international cricket squad, was found unconscious last week in his hotel room and died soon after. Now an autopsy has found he was probably strangled to death, and it may all be tied up with match-fixing.
It all got suspicious when 25-1 outsiders Ireland beat Pakistan in the cricket World Cup in Jamaica on March 17. This wasn't just an upset - it would be like the Wranglers holding the Houston Texans to a shutout. People were quick to talk about gambling rings and the possibility that Pakistan threw the game. It's happened before, with former Pakistan captain Salim Malik being banned for life in 2000 for trying to bribe Australian players to throw matches for the gambling interests.
Put to one side the fact that the game involves a 6-ounce leather-wrapped cork ball being bowled at your head at just under 100 mph. Just remember that cricket is the No. 1 sport in half the English-speaking world, including two nuclear powers - India and Pakistan – and massive wagers are placed right across the Pacific.