Pakistan will take on Ireland in their final pool B match on Sunday, March 15. The match could potentially be a knock-out match with the winner going through at the expense of the loser. The match will have another dimension too, it will be the first time the two teams meet in the World Cup, the last meeting between the two during the 2007 World Cup turned out to be something of a forgettable match for both the team, not just Pakistan who were on the losing end.
The match was played at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica. Inzamam-ul-Haq led Pakistan was put into bat by Ireland. Pakistan needed a win after losing the opener against the West Indies, but things didn’t go their way, just four Pakistan players managed to get into double figures with Kamran Akmal the top scorer with his 27 runs. Ireland was given a meager target of just 133. The Pakistan bowling attack despite their best efforts couldn’t stop Ireland from chasing down the small total and unfancied Ireland pulled off a massive up-set, by beating Pakistan by three wickets and knocking them out of the World Cup in the process. However the events that followed shocked the entire cricketing fraternity.
Less than twenty-four hour after Pakistan’s shock World Cup exist, Pakistan cricket team coach Bob Woolmer was found dead in his hotel room at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in mysterious circumstances. Few days’ later Jamaican police confirmed that a murder investigation had been launched due to the circumstances of Woolmer’s death. In an interview, former South African cricketer Clive Rice claimed that Woolmer was murdered by organized crime groups, saying “These mafia betting syndicates do not stop at anything and they do not care who gets in their way.”
Senior Pakistan batsman Younis Khan, the only member of the 2007 Pakistan squad that is playing in the on-going World Cup, admitted he still missed Woolmer.
“I remember Bob a lot, he contributed so much to Pakistan cricket. Hope we can win this game and some more in the World Cup. There would be nothing better to dedicate to Bob’s memory.”