Former South African Cricket star and a friend of Bob Woolmer is certain that he was killed due to his knowledge of the match-fixing world… by the bookies themselves! Also, notice how he talks about the death of Hanse Cronje, who was killed in a plance crash – inexplicably! The world of match fixing is far more complex than you and I think it to be! It is a fairly dangerous thing!
"He was very aware of match fixing. He’d witnessed it and he knew what goes on with it," Rice told ninemsn. "It’s the only reason he would be killed."
Rice speculates that following Pakistan’s shocking World Cup loss to Ireland on St Patrick’s Day, Woolmer may have confronted his team with allegations of match-fixing.
"His reputation got hauled through the coals because of these bad performances. He might have challenged some of the players that this was going on."
"The bookmakers and hoods involved were aware that it could come out in the media, because Bob wouldn’t stand for the fact that matches are being fixed at his expense."
The 58-year-old coach was found dying in the tiny bathroom of his hotel room in Kingston on Sunday morning, the day after the Ireland upset. Based on the final autopsy report, Jamaican police ruled that Woolmer had been strangled.
Pakistan’s cricketers flew home from the World Cup yesterday, leaving the body of their coach and a murder mystery behind them.
A former England international, Woolmer had coached the Pakistan team since 2004.
Before that, he was coach of South Africa when their former captain Hansie Cronje was bought off by bookmakers in 1996, but was never alleged to have been involved himself.
Rice, 57, said Woolmer told him in 1999 that not just players, but also high-ranking cricket officials were involved in the Cronje scandal.
"[The officials] knew about what was going on," Rice said. "If I was to make a comment on it, it would be pretty obvious how senior they were."
Rice admits that in the conversation with Woolmer he learned more about exactly who was involved, but he refuses to elaborate — for good reason.
"If I revealed names I would think that I could be in quite a lot of danger."
"I don’t think they care one little bit who they will take out," he said. "It’s no better than the drugs industry, they couldn’t care less. When you get involved in it, you’ve got a massive problem."
Rice, who was considered one of the best all-rounders in the world in the 1980s, said there is no doubt in his mind Cronje was also murdered by bookmakers.
Cronje died in 2002 along with two pilots when a light aircraft he was travelling in became lost in a cloud and crashed into mountains in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. An official inquiry last year concluded that the crash was the result of pilot error.
"Cronje’s was a much more professional job," Rice said. "And it didn’t really matter whether 1 or 2 people or 50 people died on that aeroplane. They were going to get rid of Hansie and make it look like a so-called accident."
"The beacon that gives planes an indication as to where they are in the mist was switched off for two minutes. You have to ask yourself, why in the world would something like that happen? Did he know too much about what was going on? Was he going to reveal that information?"
Rice believes that Woolmer’s death will have far greater significance to the cricket world.
"This is bringing the game into serious disrepute to think that this match-fixing is going on."
"This death is such a big international event that the perpetrators will be found. They will be caught."
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