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Tribute to Bob Woolmer March 19, 2007

Posted by Arun Rajagopal in Cricket.
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He was one of the finest personalities in international cricket and an outstanding coach. He’s going to be terribly missed by everyone with a love for the game of willow. May his soul rest in peace. Here’s a compendium of fast facts on the life of Bob Woolmer.

1. He was born as Robert Andrew Woolmer, on May 14, 1948 at Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India. He is the son of Clarence Woolmer, a cricketer who played Ranji Trophy for United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh).
2. He made 1059 runs at 33.09 in Tests, with three hundreds, and also took four wickets at 74.75. In all first-class cricket, mainly with Kent but also in South African state cricket, he scored 15772 runs at 33.55 and took 420 wickets at 25.87.
3. In 1959, as an 11-year-old schoolboy, he watched Hanif Mohammed score 499 for Karachi. In 1999, he was in the dressing room when Brian Lara scored 501* to break Hanif’s record. He is one of the very few people to have seen both innings live.
4. In 1975, he was selected for England’s first World Cup squad, but broke his hand the day before the tournament started. He ended up being the 12th man.
5. He was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1976.
6. A respected all rounder at first class level who played for Kent and South African provinces Natal and Western Province, Woolmer also played 19 Tests and six one-day internationals for England between 1975 and 1981.
7. He was among the game’s more free-thinking coaches, a reputation he earned first with Warwickshire and then confirmed during his five years at the helm of the South African national team.
8. As a coach he pioneered the use of computers and technology in the dressing room, especially to keep track of how the opposition batsmen scored their runs.
9. With him as their coach, Warwickshire won three of the four domestic trophies on offer in England in 1994.
10. He coached South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and during his tenure the team had won 83 of their 117 one-day internationals – a winning percentage of 72.80 – and 10 of the 15 Test series they contested.

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