The untimely and mysterious death of the-then Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer sent shock waves throughout the sporting world during the 2007 Cricket World Cup. Woolmer was found dead in Pakistan team's hotel merely days after the side's shock defeat against Ireland in the group stage of the World Cup.
It was Woolmer's 13th death anniversary on March 18 and many Pakistan cricketers paid tribute to the former coach on their official social media profiles.
Pakistan's premier former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar also opened up on his relationship with Woolmer, paying tribute to him on his YouTube channel.
"People think we used to fight a lot but it was not like that. When he became the coach he came to me in Northampton and said that ‘Shoaib, I don’t want any trouble from you,’ and I said him that he was talking to the wrong person and he will not have any problem with me and then he said that others have indicated this to him,” said Akhtar.
Akhtar revealed that the duo initially had ideological differences, but that he was able to change them with his performances on the field.
“I believed in match winning performances and that match can get over soon. Cricket is a game of match winners and a good spell or a good innings can win the match for the team but Bob used to think that cricket is a team sport,” revealed Akhtar.
“During the England tour after some initial hiccups I was selected in the team for my pace and I took wickets against a very high-spirited England team, who were coming after an Ashes win.
"We taught them a lesson and I took wickets in Multan, Faisalabad and then took a 5 wicket haul in the Lahore ODI. Woolmer was very happy then and he danced, later he told me that Shoaib you were right, individual acts do win matches."
Akhtar also turned emotional as he talked about his last meeting with Woolmer.
“I met him the night team was leaving for West Indies for the World Cup 2007. I told him to take care of himself and tell him not to worry much as it not the end of the world. When I was leaving he called me back and hugged my saying, ‘Shoaib I will miss you,’ I said to him I will miss you too. That was the last time we met.
“It was the most painful time for me. I was calling people left right and centre and trying to know what happened. It was a chaotic situation. The chairman ran away and PCB was facing humiliation. Finally the government took over and sent people for investigation,” he concluded.