-: Bob Woolmer: missing demarcation between profession and possession:-


Full Name: Robert Andrew Woolmer
Nickname: Bob
Date Of Birth: 14 May 1948
Place of birth: Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
Country: India
Batting Style: Right-hand bat
Bowling Style: Right-arm medium
Teams: England, Kent, Natal, Western Province
ODI Debut: Against Australia at Old Trafford on 24-08
Test Debut: Against Australia at Lord’s on 31-07-1975

Batting and Fielding Average

Class

Match

Innings

No

Runs

H. score

Average

Balls faced

Strike rate

100

50

Tests

19

34

2

1059

149

33.09

2734

38.73

3

2

ODIs

6

4

0

21

9

5.25

46

45.65

0

0

Ist Class

350

545

75

15772

203

33.55

34

72

List A

290

235

35

4078

112*

20.39

1

17

 

Bowling Average

Class

Match

Balls

Runs

Wickets

BBI

BBM

Average

Economy

Tests

19

546

299

4

1/8

1/8

74.75

3.28

ODIs

6

321

260

9

3/33

3/33

28.88

4.85

Ist Class

350

35763

10868

420

7/47

25.87

2.53

List A

290

13461

7722

374

6/9

6/9

20.64

3.44

  

Career Statistics

Test Debut: England v Australia at Lord’s – Jul 31-Aug 5, 1975 
Last Test: England v Australia at Lord’s – Jul 2-7, 1981 
First-Class Span: 1968 – 1984
List A Plan: 1969 – 1983

* All the above facts taken from BobWoolmer.com

           Bob Woolmer dies; when I heard the same news then I was really moved from inside. It was unexpected, completely unexpected to anyone. Yes!!! It was one of worse show of Pakistan in the world cup, a bit more thrashed than it was being expected in the absence of its speedsters Shoaib Akhtar and party.

It was just two days back, when I come to read in Times of India a comment about Bob Woolmer from a ‘well informed source’ that “As far as coach Bob Woolmer is concerned, he is more interested in his columns and diaries for a website and improving his public relations in the cricket fraternity. He apparently has lost communication channels with the captain and many of the players and is just counting his day before his contract expires in June”. Truly speaking, I was not shocked with such a quote from Pakistan side as few of us might be thinking similar things about Greg Chappell, if any of such show came from Indian side. But as I was knowing that he was the man behind longest chain of success of South Africa; 21 tests out of 44, 10 test series out of 15, 83 one days matches victory out of 111, so I decided to collect few information about him and Greg Chappell and to write an article over the topic that why foreigner coaches fails to make an impact in this part of the world, even after their impressive records in past. But I was having no clue that my article will never get a shape and things will move into just another ways.

Before discussing anything around this tragedy, I thought to place many facts from Bob’s life in a collective manner.

Bob Woolmer (1948-2007), born in Kanpur, India, although each cricket lover from India felt pain even if was not knowing the same. The man came in light, when at September 3, 1975, he scored a 149 (495-minute) in only his second Test, at the Oval and that too against the leading bowlers of that time like Dennis Lily, to save the game against Australia, this knock made him one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year 1976, probably, the highlight of his career, which ended in 1984, but the same highlighted his will power and learning abilities as even after adding a few good knocks in his count, people were looking over him as a bowler rather than a complete all rounder.

The Coaching career started with Warwickshire in 1991 and in 1994, they come out to win three out of four trophies, and are runners-up in the NatWest Trophy, with Woolmer as coach. Afterward, he created the history as South African Coach (1994-1999). I heard his name for the first time, when he came in news as cameras caught him conversing with Captain Hansie Cronje through an earpiece when South Africa took the field against India and few eyebrows were raised that should Cricket must be professionalized to this much extent that it may loose its natural spirit? But this controversy started the era of laptop coaches, probably a trend that Bob must be credited to start with him.

One interesting fact is that he has been ICC’s High Performance Manager in 2001, working towards the development of the game among the Associate countries, helping them compete in the 2003 World Cup and Irish were one of them, who got tips from the man himself. Who knew then that Woolmer will face them in this way again. I have read few of tragedies in the history of cricket earlier, but I myself saw only one matching tragedy and unfortunately the same was linked with Bob himself, the death of Hansie Cronje; one of the most beloved man for him as with him, he shared his best coaching days.

I was not able to find better words than the few cricinfo.com suggested “The price of passion”. Yes!!! It was like someone coming to run even after having a 104˚ temperature, handling a bit lesser professional part of the cricket world. A part of the world, where cricketers feel scared after coming back to home after drastic losses; a part of world, where cricketers ask for the security, not to keep away the fan crowd but to actually save them and their families. People from India, who might have came out to cry over the tragedy, how they could forget that just one day before we have noticed the news of angry mobs attacking Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s under construction house.

What were the reasons behind the tragedy? I am not sure that we will ever come to know all the facts, but what the amount of pressure over the man might be, is very easy to guess for anyone of us. But even then predicting a suicide is really one of the worst guess. According to Inzamam “After the game yesterday, he went to all the boys and cheered them up. He told them that these things happen in life. That was his greatest quality. Even in the bad times, he would think positive.” May he go this much negative? Yes!!! It is true that the pressures of coaching Pakistan were immense, something Woolmer himself often admitted. Speaking to reporters in the immediate aftermath of the defeat by Ireland, he said: “Doing it internationally, it takes a toll on you … the endless travelling and the non-stop living out of hotels.” But I am not able to find any sign of this much negative feeling that may cost someone’s life.

Someone very devoted for his job, so creative and adventurous that one could easily guess, how much painful this moment was for himself, coming out with the tag of an unsuccessful coach with a real worse ever show in his life. But instances of his positive attitude will never let us believe that it was result of stress and negative feeling. After the shocking death of Bob Woolmer, talks about conspiracy theories will be floating in the air, but without any official statement, we will not be confirmed that what actually happened behind the scene.

No one from the family of Bob is traveling to Caribbean, but Murray Stevenson, the team’s South African trainer, will be at the University Hospital while the post-mortem is performed on Tuesday morning, though it’s unclear as to whether the results will be publicized without the consent of the Woolmer family. Till yet, we only heard about a story published in Daily mirror quoting that it might be an overdose of drugs to avoid stress and few health problems that might have caused his death.

None of us were expecting, such a start from World Cup and the few upsets were nothing in comparison to the end of an era with Mr. Cricket (as one of the leading commentator quoted). I should say that I found international media behaving much responsibly in this regard, but like the death of Hansie Cronje, this tragedy again is ready to leave many unanswered questions. Will we get answers this time or everything will go behind the happenings in the mega event?

Note: This draft was prepared before the news about the death being suspicious being confirmed officially. But I tried to not letting me influenced with the same and rather concentrating it out of conspiracy theories. But later you could expect an article over conspiracy theories around his upcoming book which is in final stages according to her wife….

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Author: Nitish Kumar

I love to write and raising voice, sharing thought and heated debate is a kind of passion for me. Jobwise I am just another Computer professional handling Infra and designing solutions for a big Indian Media house but I love to write, sketch, photography and a lot more.

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