Bob Woolmer dies at 58

This is agonisingly sad. Pakistan's coach, Bob Woolmer, has died at the age of just 58.

We've always liked Bob Woolmer. He was an Englishman with a broad world view. He was born in India, coached South Africa and was now lending his expertise to the Pakistani cause.

He was a progressive man too. You'll be hard-pressed to find an obituary that doesn't mention how he was at the forefront in the use of technology in coaching. Not that he let that go too far. He knew that players weren't robots and that cricket is above all a mind game. Bob Woolmer believed that a happy player was a good player. This seems a fairer reflection of a man who always seemed genial, laid-back and above all, honest.

It could have been sad that his final act as a coach was to oversee a humiliating upset at the hands of Ireland and as a consequence Pakistan's failure in the World Cup. Fortunately, it seems that the cricketing community has a far longer memory than that and that loss has been buried beneath a heap of praise and respect the volume of the Himalayan mountain range. Good. That's the way it should be.

It's hard to know how to end this obituary. I'm going to use a quote from Bob's website, which was a fascinating read, particularly when he first took over Pakistan and was taking stock of the talent at his disposal. We remember him commenting that there seemed to be another six world-class pace bowlers turning up at the nets each day.

Anyway, the quote's a bit hackneyed, but the philosophy's worthy and it sums up Bob Woolmer's approach to coaching.

“Your mind is like a parachute - if it does not open it will not work.”

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Monday, March 19, 2007

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Anonymous mo said...

As a Pakistani fan, this is sad news.

Bob Woolmer was a great coach, with many pioneering ideas. Not just that, but a nice person. That was the main thing about him. I was just listening to a story on one of the Pakistani news channels, and one of the commentators said that whenever any Pakistani player would go to South Africa, he would invite them to his home. He even invited the Pakistani team for dinner during the SA tour.

He was willing to adapt to any culture. The main thing I liked about him was his relationship with the Pakistani players, you can tell through their coaching sessions, and photos what a relationship they had. It was a relationship of friendship.

He kept his own website and always tried to answer cricket fans questions.

He kept his own blog on cricinfo to keep fans updated, and about his ideas of the game of cricket.

He kept himself dignified throughout the various controversies in Pakistani cricket.

From what I saw, he was a true Gentleman.

Bob Woolmer Condolence book:

11:06 am  

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