- abdurrashid shakur
- PRESS24 NEWS Urdu, Karachi
On 18 April 2005, the Pakistani cricket team was about to return home after a successful tour of India, but shortly before departure it was learned that the head coach of the Pakistan team, Bob Woolmer, had gone to Delhi to meet Police Commissioner KK Paul. Bob Woolmer himself had expressed his desire for this meeting.
Indian sports journalist Pradeep Magazine has described this meeting in detail in his book ‘Not Quite Cricket’ because this meeting was possible only due to the efforts of Pradeep Magazine.
Pradeep Magazine writes, “During the Pakistan team’s tour of India, I became friends with team manager Salim Altaf, due to which tennis was of interest to both of us.”
“We both used to play tennis together in the evening. One day Salim Altaf told me that Bob Woolmer wants to meet Delhi Police Commissioner KK Paul, please help and make an appointment.”
Pradeep Magazine writes, “I think Bob Woolmer wanted to meet the Delhi Police Commissioner regarding Hansie Cronje, the former South African captain.”
KK Pal was the police officer who oversaw the investigation into the relationship between Hansie Cronje and bookie Sanjay Chawla, and it was KK Paul who disclosed the telephone contact between the two at a press conference in Delhi on April 7, 2000.
Bob Woolmer wanted to know how much truth was in the investigation as he was not prepared to in any way consider Hansie Cronje to be involved in the case, and this had come to the fore in a meeting with the police commissioner.
Remember that Bob Woolmer was the coach of the South African cricket team before the Pakistan team and this is also the period when the stories of Hansie Cronje’s contacts with bookies and allegedly receiving large sums of money from them surfaced. The South African government set up a “King Commission” to investigate.
In the light of these investigations, Hansie Cronje was banned for life from playing cricket.
What happened in the meeting between Woolmer and the police commissioner?
Pradeep Magazine writes, “After agreeing to a visit from the Commissioner of Police, I took Bob Woolmer to KK Paul’s residence in South Delhi where the two had a very interesting conversation.”
He writes: “Initially, the Police Commissioner calmly told Bob Woolmer that Hansie Cronje was indeed involved in the case and that there was transparency in the investigation. Then when Bob Woolmer went overboard defending Hansie Cronje, KK Paul’s tone changed and he asked some questions that left Bob Woolmer unanswered.”
Pradeep Magazine says, “KK Paul asked Woolmer how it is possible for a coach or someone very close to the captain to be unaware or even suspect that the captain of the team is on the payroll of a bookie. ?”
KK Paul questioned Bob Woolmer that, “Hansie Cronje has accepted bookmakers’ offers and their proceeds to the King’s Commission, and has also stated that he has consulted with the team more than once. Whether to accept offers from bookies or not. Why couldn’t you find out about these visits?”
He further wrote, “Bob Woolmer was forced to take a defensive stance on this question and he replied to KK Paul that he found out about these meetings later.”
The then Commissioner of Police of Delhi also reminded Bob Woolmer of what he was talking to Hansie Cronje on the field with a device attached to his ear while sitting in the dressing room at the 1999 World Cup. Didn’t you know that Cronje is a fixer? Woolmer’s only answer was that he was talking to his captain about the strategy of the match.
Woolmer really didn’t know anything about Cronje?
Speaking to PRESS24 NEWS Urdu, Pradeep Magazine said that in this meeting, KK Paul and he himself were skeptical about how it is possible that Bob Woolmer was unaware of such important things. It seemed like Woolmer knew a lot about it but was hiding it.
The general opinion is that Bob Woolmer knew a lot about Hansie Cronje’s bettor contacts and offers. This can be gauged from the statements given by some South African players to the King’s Commission.
According to these statements, when the South African team was playing the last match of their tour of India in Mumbai in 1996, which was awarded last-minute international status, its players were unhappy because they were very tired, and wanted That the tour would end soon. Bookie Mukesh Gupta offered Hansie Cronje a two and a half million dollars for losing the match.
He later increased the amount by $100,000 when Cronje was contacted, as some players were curious whether the amount could be increased. However, Andrew Hudson, Derek Crooks and Daryl Kleinen quickly turned down the offer.
Former ICC chief executive David Richardson, who was then the South African team’s wicketkeeper, said in a statement to the King’s Commission that it was the first time in his international career that such an offer had been considered before the team.
Off-spinner Pete Simcox said in a statement before the King’s Commission that the proposal was “taken very seriously” and was in response to a question by women’s advocate Shamila Batohi, “Where do you think the offer of huge sums of money in exchange for losing the match would have come from”. Simcox replied in a “sarcastic” manner, you must have guessed yourself, of course, it must not have come from the Prime Minister.”
“We had to get that money”
English journalist Simon Wilde, in his book ‘Cott’, has described the incident in the dressing room during this match played in Mumbai in which Hansie Cronje was very angry over the deal not being done and he got angry with the plate of food so much. It sprung loudly that the pieces of chicken hit the ceiling.
Simon Wilde quoted in his book Bob Woolmer’s interview with the Daily Telegraph in which he heard Bob Woolmer say to Cronje, “If we had taken the money, we would have used this money to build a house in the fan-court (a posh area). could buy.”
On the one hand, Bob Woolmer had been recounting all these incidents in his interviews, but the South African Cricket Board chief Dr. Ali Bakker, in his statement before the King Commission, said that Bob Woolmer and team manager Robert Mozel never gave their report. I did not mention any such thing, while Bob Woolmer said that he had been telling Dr. Ali Bakker about it.
In a June 2000 interview with Wisden Cricket Monthly, Bob Woolmer said of Cronje that he was also very active in the stock market and that cricket was not his only source of livelihood.
What did Salim Malik say to Cronje?
Hansie Cronje said in a statement to the King Commission that the bookmaker had first contacted him in January 1995 before the first final of the Best of Three Mandela Trophy in Cape Town. He was 25 at the time and was the captain for only three months.
He said that the man was Pakistani or Indian whom he only knew as ‘John’.
Cronje said, “I was offered ten thousand dollars in return for my loss by a guy named John, which I only mentioned to off-spinner Pete Simcox, but when I went to the field, Pakistani captain Salim Malik asked me. asked, “Have you spoken to John?”
“Salim Malik’s statement was proof that he was also aware of this offer made to me.”
This is the same match in which captain Salim Malik and wicketkeeper Rashid Latif had a heated argument over South Africa electing to bat first after winning the toss and Rashid Latif raised his voice on the alleged disturbances in the team.
Cronje also told the King Commission that when the South African team was in Sharjah in 1996, a bookie named Sunil approached him and asked him to fix matches for the team’s tour of India, which he declined.
Some more suspicious people came into the life of Hansie Cronje, from whom he got money and he went into the swamp. Eventually, on 1 June 2002, he died in a small plane crash in South Africa.
Bob Woolmer was found dead in his hotel room in Kingston Jamaica on March 18, 2007, the second day of the Pakistan team’s surprise defeat against Ireland in a World Cup match.
Like Hansie Cronje’s death, Bob Woolmer’s death forever covered many secrets.
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