London: The Pakistan cricket team flew into London on 25 March after being allowed to leave the Caribbean by Jamaican police investigating the murder of coach Bob Woolmer.
Woolmer, who has been Pakistan coach for two years, was found dead in his hotel room on 18 March and police said he had been strangled.
The murder happened the day after Pakistan was upset by Ireland at the World Cup. Police said they don’t yet know a motive for the killing but there has been media speculation that Woolmer was killed because he may have been writing a book about match-fixing in cricket.
The losses to Ireland and host West Indies meant that Pakistan, one of the championship favorites, was eliminated.
Team captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and his players were all questioned by police in Jamaica before being allowed to leave the Caribbean on 24 March. They took a flight from Kingston and arrived at London’s Heathrow Airport the next day.
After leaving the plane, the players were escorted by six police officers who were there for security purposes and taken to a bus.
It is not clear how long they will stay in London before flying home to Lahore.
But Dalawar Chaudhry, who is employed by the team to provide hospitality on their cricket tours, said after meeting the players at the airport that he would provide them with a time for prayer and reflection before they headed back to Pakistan to be with their families.
“All of the camp were very, very down,” Chaudhry said. “They are young Pakistani boys out of their homeland. Although they have traveled widely, they have never had this type of experience in their lives.”
Before leaving Jamaica, Inzamam, team manager Talat Ali and assistant coach Mushtaq Ahmed were asked by investigators to detail their activities before Woolmer’s strangling in his Kingston hotel room, squad spokesman Pervez Jamil Mir told reporters.
Mir said investigators asked “general questions about their movements, what they were doing and what time they went to bed” on the night before Woolmer was found dead.
“There was nothing extraordinary. The police just wanted to fill in a couple of blanks,” Mir said, adding that the three men were questioned in their hotel rooms in Montego Bay for about 10 minutes each.
Jamaican Deputy Police Commissioner Mark Shields described the questioning of the three team members as standard police procedure.
“They have answered any ambiguities and unanswered questions,” Shields said.