ICL: Indian Cricket League

Match-fixing section to be added to Woolmer’s book


bobA section examining match-fixing in a scientific manner will be added to the book on coaching that Bob Woolmer finished before he was murdered.

Thomas C Gilfillan, a South African scientist, is studying data from all of South Africa’s One-day Internationals (ODIs) in the 1990s while Woolmer was coach and Hansie Cronje the captain.

Gilfillan was of the opinion that by studying the form of the teams, one could predict the results of 70% of the matches and instances of the weaker team winning formed the remaining 30%.

He was looking at specific events in these games, such as patterns of scoring and bowling changes, which would arouse suspicion.

“Gilfillan will have a range of probabilities of matches fixed,” Tim Noakes, a Professor of Sports Science at Cape Town University, told The Times. Noakes was formerly the South Africa team doctor and has co-written Woolmer’s book.

“Part of the reason is to shed new light on Cronje,” said Noakes. “I was worried at the time by a number of suspicious things, such as when spin bowlers were brought on early in an innings. I saw things going on in the World Cup semifinal between South Africa and Australia in 1999 that I could not understand and a five-match ODI series always seemed to finish 3-2,” he added. Noakes said that Woolmer had not written about match-fixing. “We would have mentioned match-fixing if Bob and I had thought in the past there was a science about it,” Noakes said.

“Bob was editing the original 600 pages, of which he wrote 80%, a week before he died and the page proofs arrived at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston the day after his death. So they were not the manuscripts said to have been stolen from his room. I think that was a red herring,” he explained.

“My point is that the ICC should be looking at matches in the past which could have been fixed. In horse racing, you back the horse which is heavily favoured in the last hour before the race,” he added. Gill Woolmer, Bob’s widow, had given permission for the publication of the book which will be published in September.

“I want to keep Woolmer’s name going for the next 100 years and we shall ask one of his successors to update it in the years to come,” said Noakes.

The proceeds will go to the Bob Woolmer Trust, on which Noakes, Barry Richards and Jonty Rhodes, former South Africa batsmen, are trustees.

Source:The News

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This entry was posted on Monday, April 9th, 2007 and is filed under Cricket, Cricket Stars.

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