Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Cricket writer Roebuck commits suicide

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Cape Town: Widely respected cricket writer Peter Roebuck, who has considerable following in India, committed suicide here after police reportedly questioned him on allegations of sexual assault.

The 55-year-old British national, who captained Somerset in the 1980s, was in this country to cover the current series between South Africa and Australia.

According to the Western Cape South Africa police, the incident occurred last night around 9:15 pm local time. The writer died on impact.

There were reports that Roebuck had been spoken to by the police last night after which he appeared to be tense.

It was not clear why Roebuck had taken the extreme step but the police said, there were no suspicious circumstances, surrounding his death.

However international media reports say that he jumped from his hotel room on the sixth floor even as a uniformed police officer was still present there.

A report in the Sydney Morning Herald, a newspaper in which Roebuck’s columns appeared regularly, said a detective and a uniformed police officer from the sexual crimes unit began speaking with him in his hotel room about 9pm.

Roebuck then sought help from a fellow cricket journalist by saying, ‘Can you come down to my room quickly? I’ve got a problem’

Cape Town police captain Frederick van Wyk refused comment when asked if Roebuck was questioned about a sexual assault but ‘Herald Sun’ quoted a source as saying that police did question the cricket commentator about such allegations.

Roebuck was born in Oxford on March 6, 1956 played 335 first-class matches before deciding to make his career in writing about cricket.

In 335 first-class matches, Roebuck, a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1988, made 17,558 runs at 37.27, with 33 centuries. Roebuck retired from top-level cricket in 1991.

India will remember Roebuck for indictment

of Australian team

Peter Roebuck will be best remembered in India for his indictment of Ricky Ponting and the Australian team, whom he called a “pack of wild dogs”, for their behaviour in the controversial Sydney Test in 2008. Australia pulled off a stunning win against India, but the match will be always remembered for heated exchanges between the two teams.

The Sydney game saw erratic umpiring, a verbal spat between Andrew Symonds and Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who was later charged with making racial comments against the Australian all-rounder. It also showed the Australian team in poor light and the cricketing world questioned their attitude.

Roebuck, a former Somerset captain who was settled in Australia, was one of the few journalists to condemn the on-field behaviour of the home team, tearing them apart in his front page column for Sydney Morning Herald. It instantly made him a popular figure in India.

He called for Ponting’s head and criticised the champion team for their “wild” behaviour in the match. “Ricky Ponting must be sacked as captain of the Australian cricket team,” Roebuck had written in the column. “In the past few days, the Australian captain has presided over a performance that dragged the game into the pits. He turned a group of professional cricketers into a pack of wild dogs.” (Agencies)

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