PCB resist calls to sue over Woolmer death

Last updated at 16:21 13 June 2007

The Pakistan Cricket Board insist they 'fully respect' the Jamaican police verdict that Bob Woolmer died of natural causes, appearing to rule out of the possibility of legal action.

The former Pakistan coach was found unconscious in his hotel room and later died on March 18, the day after his side had been knocked out of the World Cup by Ireland.

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An initial pathologist's report concluded the former England Test player had been strangled and the subsequent launch of a murder inquiry gave rise to a number of conspiracy theories.

There have been calls in some quarters, including from former national team captain Imran Khan, for the PCB to "sue everyone with responsibility" over the mishandling of Woolmer's death.

But PCB sources told The News International that top officials are against the idea of taking legal action against the Jamaican police as it would ignite fresh controversy.

A PCB statement read: "We fully respect the final verdict issued by the Jamaican police."

PCB director of communications Dr Ahsan Hameed Malik added: "We have been saying that Woolmer died of natural causes for quite some time now.

"The announcement from the Jamaican police is a big relief for all of us. It won't compensate for the loss of Woolmer, but will certainly lessen the pain."

Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf, however, agrees with Khan that the PCB should take the matter further and at least seek compensation and an apology from the authorities in the Caribbean.

"The PCB should take the legal action, but it's not up to the players," said the 32-year-old.

"We cannot sue the Jamaican police so it is a matter to be handled by the PCB."

On the ordeal he and his team-mates suffered after Woolmer's death, Yousuf added: "It was okay and we co-operated, but we were fingerprinted and not allowed to leave, which added to our pain of being knocked out of the World Cup.

"We felt it was a natural death from day one and we feel the same now - the players never believed Woolmer had been murdered."

West Indies coach David Moore added: "It was very sad when Bob passed away. He was a genius with his coaching and had been a role model to many world coaches.

"He must have impacted on every coach coaching at the World Cup so it is a massive loss to all.

"It was very sad to lose him but to do so by natural causes is better than sinister circumstances."

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