‘Lost a friend and a father figure’ – Shoaib Akhtar pays tribute to Bob Woolmer on his 13th death anniversary

‘Lost a friend and a father figure’ – Shoaib Akhtar pays tribute to Bob Woolmer on his 13th death anniversary

Akhtar went on to say how Woolmer apparently had some misconception about his temperament.

Shoaib Akhtar and Bob Woolmer
Shoaib Akhtar and Bob Woolmer. (Photo by ARIF ALI/AFP via Getty Images)

The 2007 World Cup in West Indies brought great joy to minnows Ireland as they defeated cricketing powerhouse team Pakistan and shockingly ousted them in the league stage of the quadrennial event.

However, a day after that result, then Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer was found dead in his hotel room in Jamaica as speculations of foul play did the rounds. However, after inquest proceedings which went on for a few months, Jamaican Constabulary Force declared that the 58-year-old coach had died of natural causes.

On his 13th death anniversary, Shoaib Akhtar, former Pakistan fast bowler, who was an integral part of the team at that time, released a video on his YouTube channel remembering his interactions with Woolmer.

‘Cleared his misconception regarding my behaviour’: Shoaib Akhtar

Akhtar opened up the video by saying, “I lost a friend and I lost a father figure.” He went on to say how Woolmer apparently had some misconception about his temperament and how– with his bowling spells– Akhtar won him over.

Akhtar said, “People think we used to fight a lot but it was not like that. When he became the coach he came to me in Northampton and said that ‘Shoaib I don’t want any trouble from you,’ and I said to him that he was talking to the wrong person and he will not have any problem with me and then he said that others have indicated this to him.”

“I believed in match-winning performances and that match can get over soon. Cricket is a game of match-winners and a good spell or a good innings can win the match for the team but Bob used to think that cricket is a team sport,” the Rawalpindi Express added.

“I took wickets against a very high-spirited England team, who were coming after an Ashes win. We taught them a lesson and took wickets in Multan, Faisalabad and then took a 5-wicket haul in the Lahore ODI. Woolmer was very happy then and he danced, later he told me that Shoaib you were right, individual acts do win matches,” Akhtar further said.

Here’s the video: