From the Times’ Pat Reid and Tim Gibson (thanks to Chuck Meehan for a link to the AP’s coverage)

Cricket faced the worst scandal in its history last night after Jamaican police announced that Bob Woolmer (above), the former England Test player and Pakistani coach, was murdered.Police said that Mr Woolmer, 58, who was found dead in his Kingston hotel room on Sunday morning, had been strangled.

Mark Shields (above) , the Deputy Police Commissioner in Kingston, said there was no sign of forced entry into Mr Woolmer™s hotel bedroom, nor had his possessions been disturbed, increasing speculation that he was killed by people he knew.

Every member of the Pakistani cricket team was questioned and fingerprinted before the announcement. But Mr Shields said that there were no suspects yet and the team would be free to leave Jamaica as scheduled tomorrow.

Mr Woolmer was found œlifeless by a maid in the bathroom of his room at the Pegasus Kingston hotel, hours after Pakistan had been knocked out of the World Cup by Ireland, one of the greatest upsets in the tournament™s history.

The former England all-rounder, a diabetic, was surrounded by blood, vomit and diarrhoea. Much of the vomit was sprayed high on the walls, suggesting a violent struggle.

Mr Shields had announced on Tuesday that Mr Woolmer™s death was œsuspicious, but that the first postmortem examination had been inconclusive. In a statement that he read aloud last night, after further tests by the same pathologist, Mr Shields said: œHis report states that Mr Woolmer™s death was due to asphyxia as a result of manual strangulation. In these circumstances, the matter of Mr Robert Woolmer™s death is now being treated by Jamaica police as a case of murder.

Mr Woolmer was about to publish a memoir that many believe contained damning allegations about world cricket. He was South Africa™s coach when Hansie Cronje, the team™s captain, was exposed as a cheat who took £125,000 in 2000 to throw matches.

One senior ICC official told The Times last night: œHe told too many people he was writing a book.