Last week there were reports on how pious the Pakistani cricket team had become before this year’s World Cup.
… Now, after the murder of coach Bob Woolmer, there are reports that many of the Pakistani players are tied to a radical Islamic group!
Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, left, stands beside Pakistan World Cup cricket coach Bob Woolmer in this August 8, 2006 file photo. Two Pakistani team members were being questioned Saturday March 24, 2007 by Jamaican police investigating the murder of World Cup cricket coach Bob Woolmer, but the men have not been detained, according to the team’s spokesman. Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and assistant coach Mushtaq Ahmed were being questioned by Jamaican investigators in the Montego Bay hotel where the cricket team is staying, spokesman Pervez Jamil Mir told reporters. (AP Photo/ Gareth Fuller)
South Asia Analysis Group reported this news yesterday:
Did Pakistani cricket coach Bob Woolmer’s criticism of the growing influence of the Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) of Pakistan, a jihadi organisation, on many players of the Pakistani cricket team contribute to his brutal murder after Pakistan lost to Ireland in the current World Cup Cricket Tournament in the West Indies?
2. Coinciding with the inauguration of the tournament, Amir Mir, the well-known Pakistani columnist, had written a disturbing article on the growing influence of the TJ on many members of the Pakistani cricket team and its negative impact on the performance of the team in recent years. His article did not receive the attention it deserved. The text of it is available in the “Post” of March 16,2007. Its salient points are as under:
** Pakistani cricketeers have never pursued their religious beliefs as devoutly as they do nowadays. This religiousity has come about because a clutch of players—Inzimam (the captain), Mushtaq Ahmed (the bowling coach), Mohammad Yousaf, Saqlain Mushtaq, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, and Yasser Hameed— have become members of the TJ. They participate in public gatherings organised by the TJ to preach Islam and stress the virtue of an authentic Islamic lifestyle.
** The TJ has invaded the dressing room of the Pakistani cricket team. They (the clerics of the TJ) can be seen praying with the players and reciting the Holy Koran for the team’s success. As TJ membership makes it obligatory for a member to preach, most of the TJ cricketeers—especially Inzimam—often undertake preaching tours across Pakistan.
** Inzimam’s penchant to mix religion with cricket has already sparked accusations that he favours TJ players over those considered secular. The non-TJ group in the team is led by Vice-Captain Younas Khan and includes Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif, Danish Kaneria, Imran Nazir and Abdul Razzaq.
** Though Inzimam is said to detest Shoaib for his indisciplined ways, some in the team feel the real reason is because Shoaib drinks Scotch and likes the night clubs.
One Jerusalem has much more.
Pakistani Cricket Coach Bob Woolmer Strangled After Loss
Pakistani Cricket Captain & Asst Coach Targeted in Investigation
UPDATE: June 2, 2007- Scotland Yard detectives have told Jamaican police that the former Pakistan cricket coach, Bob Woolmer, was not murdered. BBC