Sri Lanka grieves Woolmer’s death

March 19, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s top cricket officials Monday put aside their differences and united in paying tribute to Bob Woolmer, the Pakistani national coach who died suddenly in Jamaica

Jayantha Dharmadasa, president of the Sri Lanka Cricket Interim Committee, said Woolmer’s death was a big loss to the cricketing world.

“I have already sent Sri Lanka Cricket’s condolences to the Pakistani Cricket Board and Bob’s family,” Dharmadasa said, adding that Woolmer had proved his worth as a coach with both South Africa and Pakistan.

“Humiliation suffered by Pakistan was not Bob’s fault,” Dharmadasa told AFP, referring to the loss to Ireland which ended Pakistan’s World Cup hopes.

Dharmadasa’s predecessor and rival for the leadership of Sri Lanka cricket, Thilanga Sumathipala, recalled the former England batsman’s coaching capabilities.

Sumathipala expressed gratitude for Woolmer’s guidance in making the International Cricket Coaches’ Conference held here in 2003 a success.

“Bob, world cricket is going to miss you, as for me you have been the best and the most innovative cricket coach in the world in recent times,” Sumathipala said in a statement.

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