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World Cup #16 – Goobye, Bob. Maybe God’s team needs a good coach, y’know. March 19, 2007

Posted by Anand Ramachandran in sports.
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“What a stupid world.” Readers of The HINDU may have seen today’s ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ end with those very words.

What a stupid world.

A man respected and loved for enriching our beloved game in so many ways will do so no more. We are poorer for it.

Bob Woolmer gave us Hansie Cronje’s South African side of the 90s. They thrilled us with their near-impossible fielding skills, their fearsome efficiency (yes, it’s a virtue that must be admired, let no one tell you differently), their ability to make winning seem matter of fact. They were so good, we quickly grew to hate them as much as we hate the Australians. Now that’s something.

Bob brought science and method to the forefront of the game – and showed cricket teams how they could win on bad days. How they could excel even if slightly short on God given cricketing gifts. There is no team in the world today that has not been touched by his wisdom in some way. In numerous interviews and articles over the years, he impressed us with his thoughts and views on the game and how it should be played. Always thoughtful. Always interesting.

Make no mistake – Bob raised the bar. Just watch videos of matches from the years before his arrival, and you’ll see that this is true. This alone guarantees him a place in the pantheon of cricket’s most influential men ever.

Now he’s gone. Just like that. In his worst cricketing hour. It’s as if he decided that he’d had enough, and simply left. Without a thought for what we’d do without him.

There will be reams written about his contributions, his successes and failures, his methods and theories. I’d rather dwell on something else.

On the night of his death, there was the usual flurry of telephone calls, messages and e-mails between my own circle of cricket fans. And every single one of us agreed – this didn’t feel like something that was happening far away, in the world of newsprint and TV. No, this felt like we had lost a friend, someone we had spent time with for years.

Why did he have to die like this? Why now? Wouldn’t it have been easier if we could have read about his passing in a quiet corner of the paper, years after he had faded from public life?

In India and Pakistan, we claim to be passionate about cricket. Is it passion that drives us to believe that we’re within our rights to destroy someone’s property? Is it passion that motivates us to put so much pressure on somebody that they can die from the stress? Or is it madness and evil? Anger and stupidity? Ignorance and fear?

What a stupid, stupid world.

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Comments»

1. PutVote.com - March 19, 2007

World Cup #16 – Goobye, Bob. Maybe God’s team needs a good coach, y’know. « Papayas are people, too.


“Why did he have to die like this? Why now? Wouldn’t it have been easier if we could have read about his passing in a quiet corner of the paper, years after he had faded from public life?

In India and Pakistan, we claim to be passionate abou…

2. Anand - March 19, 2007

Man, I don’t know if this is indeed an obit, but sure does the dude a lot of justice.

3. Garam Chai - March 19, 2007

As far as I am concerned, Bob Woolmer didn’t die of stress or heart attack ’til that is proven. There is too much at stake in World Cup as far as India–facing an early exit at this point in time–and Pakistan–already out of the tournament–are concerned and nothing can be ruled out in his death. No, I am not suggesting that India had anything to do with his death. Just saying that folks in India and Pakistan aren’t just fanatic only about religion. Cricket is way up there. Yep, a stupid world.

4. markuz - March 19, 2007

This is the worst ever I have experienced in cricket……..way more upsetting than all the match fixing and probably even more than Hansie Cronje death…
Woolmer was a great guy…..a dude……u cant say that about too many cricket coaches can u ?
We will miss you Bob.

5. Anand Ramachandran - March 20, 2007

Anand – is this really an obit? Or merely an ‘opinion’ ? Perhaps we should ask someone who went to ‘obituary writing school’. 😉

6. inis - March 20, 2007

Bugger u were right when u said it wasnt like someone died somewhere …the feeling was terrible…like the ones we experience when we lose someone close to our hearts…..we will miss him….for once i agree to what malcom speed had to say….was bob really sad on that day when ireland beat pakistan….he must have been happy that ireland won…..woolmer to us a few days back is now bob (first name terms) to everyone…..we loved him more than we thought we did….all true cricket fans all over the world will miss him……
One final we re not worthy to a truly remarkable personality…

7. Visesh - March 20, 2007

respect.

8. Lamp Store - April 19, 2007

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