Bob Woolmer was murdered. That is now the truth of the matter. Cricket has taken a step into the dark nooks and crannies that welcome violence, where once, in a more innocent time, mere corruption enervated those who cared.
Bob was an immensely popular man, and a respected man-manager, but has... had been beset by scandal and it's touch throughout his career as coach. He was there when Cronje tried to persuade his team to throw a match, he was there when the first ever forfeit of a Test match occurred, and that's not to mention Shoaib. Whatever, the human tragedy of his death comes and hits you as you consider his wife and two sons, who have been bereaved and those who knew him in the game, and outside of it as well.
Now, he's paid the ultimate price for something... And what we're all aghast at is the consideration that it could be the early exit of Pakistan from the World Cup, and it could be because of his peripheral involvement with scandal, corruption and more.
Cricket is now a multi-billion dollar sport. The sheer scale of economics is enough to take one's breath away, I know mine has been. I suppose it's not a huge leap of faith to accept that corruption would go hand in hand with such sums. And it's not a paradigm shift from there to presuppose that violence and murder are the next steps. The love of money and all that...
So - could he have fallen victim to this mafia? We all hoped and prayed that Paul Condon had made huge inroads into the corruption that had blighted the game - but the stories are now coming to light that the ICC have not been as effective as perhaps they had hoped. I believe it is entirely possible that this was the reason for Bob Woolmer's untimely death. If it is the case, then those who perpetrated this crime should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law - however, will a witch-hunt ensue? Will there be a neo-puritanism rising from this horrible situation and come to burn away all of the filth within cricket? Will anyone who, by association be tainted, be hounded from the game? I don't know... I've really not had time to think...
Let's look at the 'facts':
- Bob had apparently completed some books which were a distance from being published. Based on his knowledge of some of the nastier seams of the crickting life, it is possible that one or more of these books could potentially have been inflammatory.
- Bob had been exposed to corruption in the past, both in the sub-continent and in RSA
- Ex-players such as Safraz Nawaz have been vocal in decrying corruption recently since Bob's death
And what if... What if it's an enraged supporter... Or player. That... That seems even more horrible to contemplate. Again, it's easy to assume that the shady night-time world of vice and violence exists, and that it's tendrils could indeed reach into something we all thought was relatively pure as cricket. But a fan? Or worse a player? Surely not.