murder could hurt region
are many in the Caribbean who may now be attempting to wish
away this nightmare of Bob Woolmers murder on our
doorstep, or in our yard as the Jamaicans would say.
Apart from the sorrow of the man losing his life, his family
losing a husband, friend and father, and the cricket world
having such a student and teacher of the game whisked away
prematurely, there must be a collective sigh from the West
Indies asking, Why on our watch, Lord.
As readers would know, during the six years of preparation
for hosting the premier world cricket tournament, there
have been all kinds of doubters, including self-doubters,
and uncertainties as to whether the West Indian cricketing
nation could successfully bring it off.
It did not help the situation that at every turn the likes
of Chris Dehring, whether to boost flagging morale or in
genuine belief, would repeat the mantra: The best
ever Cricket World Cup.
Now this, the coach of a major cricketing nation and a man
respected worldwide is found unconscious in his hotel room
and dies immediately after and in circumstances which the
Jamaica police now regard as murder as a result of manual
A news conference last night has confirmed reports that
Woolmer was, in fact, murdered.
This editorial will not attempt to tell the Jamaican police
how to do their jobs. What we could say, however, is there
must be expedition in this murder investigation.
This cannot just be another file in the office of the Jamaica
Commissioner of Police, awaiting some fortuitous occurrence
for an arrest to be made and for the circumstances surrounding
Mr Woolmers death to be made clear to the world.
Jamaica and all other Caricom countries, especially the
tourism-dependent economies, are holding out great hope
for the staging of the Cricket World Cup here in the Caribbean
to return dividends.
But there is the potential downside: similar to how the
opening ceremony was broadcast live and replayed to over
one billion people, so too has information on Mr Woolmers
death gone abroad to as large an audience.
In effect, the reputation of the English-speaking Caribbean
as a place where people can come for a peaceful vacation
may be at stake.
All should remember the Natalie Holloway incident and how
Aruba tourism has suffered and continues to be affected
by the American teenager being killed while on holiday there.
If the investigation turns up information to indicate that
Mr Woolmer met his death through some locally-hatched criminal
occurrence, not merely Jamaica but all of the Caribbean
will be branded in a negative manner.
The hope must be that it does not turn out to be the case
that Mr Woolmer was killed by some perverted criminal hand
of the Caribbean.
The process of the investigation is on and there is nothing
that can be done about that now. It may even come to the
point, and soon, that the ICC and the relatives of the late
Pakistan coach will require the intervention of international
police to find the killer.
What Mr Dehring and the ICC organising committee have to
do from here on in is to institute an even tighter security
net around the players and officials to guard against any
harm coming to anyone while the tournament is in progress.
The Caribbean simply cannot afford a repeat of this ugly