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World Cup to go ahead despite Woolmer`s death: ICC

24 March, 2007

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Kingston (Jamaica): The International Cricket Council (ICC) Friday said that the World Cup will go ahead as scheduled despite the murder of Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer here.

It also called upon all the remaining teams in the tournament to play some outstanding cricket as a tribute to the late England Test player.

"The best way to do that is for the teams that remain in the tournament to play out a great World Cup, something that will help put the smile back on the face of our great sport," ICC CEO Malcolm Speed said here.

"By doing that we will demonstrate that cricket cannot be put off by a cowardly criminal act," he said, quashing speculation that the 16-nation tournament would be abandoned.

Speed said that if the players and officials of all the competing teams can do that, it would be a fitting tribute to Woolmer, who was killed in his hotel room Sunday, a day after Pakistan shockingly lost to minnows Ireland and crashed out of the tournament.

Pakistan, champions in 1992, had earlier lost to the West Indies.

Speed said that the news of Woolmer`s death had cast a wave of sadness over the cricket community.

"That sadness has now been replaced with a profound sense of shock at the news that his death is being treated as murder and everyone connected with this event will assist the police in any way possible to ensure the truth emerges," he said.

"However, as the matter is the subject of an ongoing police investigation, we will not comment on it, nor will we comment on the rumour and speculation it has given rise to over the past few days."

Speed pointed out that it was not the first time that tragedy has visited a sporting event but what "we must all do now is to show how resolute the game is by proving ourselves strong enough to move on from what has happened".

End.

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