Bob Woolmer 1948 - 2007
Tragic and strange things have happened a lot to Bob Woolmer, the Pakistan cricket coach in recent times but his untimely death on Sunday was the most tragic and strange of all
I have never been able to grasp cricket like others and since moving to Chicago have nigh on forgotten the sport exists but when I was a kid I loved everything about the game, if not completely understanding the complexities. My interest was probably sparked by my Grandad and I would sit in front of the television for days watching games unfold.
I inherited Kent as my team, probably because down the road the postal addresses became Kent, whereas mine ended in London, even though as the crow flew The Oval was nearer. I also had a couple of persuasive older, I was almost going to say grown up, but that would be lying, friends who were Addick supporting Kent cricket fans and they would take me to games at Canterbury, Tunbridge Wells and Beckenham.
The posters on my bedroom wall would change with the seasons. Derek Hales in the winter and Alan Knott in the summer. That Kent team in the late 70's was like Liverpool of the same era, they won everything back then and players like Derek Underwood and Alan Ealham just seemed to go on forever. Whether it's my memory or just rose coloured spectacles I don't know, the starting XI never seemed to change in those days. You could always rely on Knotty wearing his floppy hat, Chris Tavaré to spend 10 hours at the crease scoring 20 runs, the canny Underwood to finish off the opposition after Graham 'Picca' Dilly had loosened them up, Richard Ellison to be completely unpredictable and without exception for what seemed a 100 years a Cowdrey always on a Kent team scorecard.
Then there was a certain master batsman called Bob Woolmer. He had the most delicate of touches and wasn't a bad bowler either and without ever being one of the more higher profile players in the team, I used to watch him and think that he had the whole thing mapped out. The next ball, the innings, the match, his career and his life. He was a clever player and an independent and strong-willed man and the world of cricket, which I have sadly left behind will miss him.