Police to say Woolmer died of natural causes - report

MELBOURNE - Jamaican police are to announce next week that Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer died of natural causes and was not murdered as they had initially stated, the Daily Mail has reported.

Citing a source close to the inquiry, the newspaper says Jamaican authorities will say they are no longer treating the death suspiciously and that the 58-year-old died of heart failure brought on by ill health and possibly diabetes.

Woolmer was found dead on the floor of his Kingston hotel bedroom on March 18 after Pakistan had been beaten by minnows Ireland in the World Cup, hastening their premature exit from the competition.

An initial post-mortem said the former England test batsmen had died of asphyxiation but, after a review by London's Metropolitan Police, Jamaican officers now privately agree no third party was involved in his death, the paper said.

"Mr Woolmer was not a well man. It is now accepted that he died of natural causes," the source was quoted as saying.

The paper also quoted a colleague of investigating officer Mark Shields, Jamaica's Deputy Commissioner of Police, criticising his conduct.

"With hindsight, he should have ensured a second post-mortem was carried out. Instead of saying the death was suspicious, he rushed out a statement saying it was murder. He is going to be a laughing stock," the colleague is quoted as saying.

The paper said a news conference would be held in Kingston next week.

- REUTERS

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