In what will be an embarrassing u-turn by Jamaican police authorities reports coming from British newspapers suggest that they will soon announce that Bob Woolmer was not murdered, but died of natural causes.
Woolmer was found dead in his hotel room the day after the Pakistan team he coached had lost to Ireland in a World Cup group match in March, effectively knocking the former World Cup winners out, and allowing the Irish, first timers at the global event, and made up primarily by part timers, to progress through to the Super 8 phase. With rumours of a sinister cause of death leading the front pages of many newspapers, the Jamaican police announced that after a post mortem they were now treating the death as murder. Suggestions that Woolmer was killed by an under ground match fixing mafia, by radical Muslim fans, and even suggestions that his own players were involved began to do the rounds.
With the case stretching for weeks and then months with no new leads the theory that Woolmer had died of natural causes began to gain momentum. An investigation by a UK Home Office pathologist who flew to Jamaica to help seems to have been the route of the change in direction of the case. It now seems that Woolmer died of heart failure caused by chronic ill health and possibly diabetes. Woolmer was not in good health and the stress of the failure of his much hyped team, and the possible reactions and reprecautions, may have played a hand in his death.
The results of a 3rd pathology report should be known soon, but are expected to back up those of the 2nd report, that Woolmer was not murdered, but died of natural causes. The broken bone in his neck, which was behind many suggestions that he had been strangled, is now believed to have been caused by his fall.
While speculation and rumour have lead this case more than any really facts or leads, the news that Woolmer died from natural causes, and not at the hand of any sinister element, must come as a relief to both his family and loved ones, and to the cricketing world in general. However, after all that has gone on before, they will only truly be able to move on once the speculation becomes fact. Hopefully the coming weeks will give them the peace they crave.