Woolmer funeral under wraps

2007-05-01 07:46
Cape Town - The family of slain Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer met undertakers on Monday to discuss his funeral, but details of the ceremony - including where and when it will be - are being kept under wraps.

The family had decided to keep it a "totally, totally private affair", said the Western Cape manager for Doves funeral parlour, Theo Rix.

Only family would be involved in the ceremony and no cricket officials would be attending.

Rix said further details of the funeral would not be released to the media.

Woolmer, a 58-year-old former England Test batsman, was found unconscious in his room and later declared dead on March 18, the day after his squad was upset by Ireland and eliminated from the World Cup. Police said he was strangled.

Woolmer's body was returned to his family in Cape Town on Sunday.

Earlier on Monday, British Broadcasting Corporation investigative programme Panorama said Woolmer was incapacitated by drugs before he was strangled.

Preliminary toxicology tests, due to be given to Jamaican police next week, indicated that Woolmer had been incapacitated by a drug, said the programme.

It did not identify the drug nor the source of its information.

In an interview with Panorama, investigating officer Mark Shields said it would be difficult to strangle a man as large as Woolmer.

"A lot of force would be needed to do that," he said.

"Bob Woolmer was a large man and that's why one could argue that it was an extremely strong person, or maybe more than one person, but equally the lack of external injuries suggests that there might be some other factors, and that's what we're looking into at the moment."

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