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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Peter Roebuck (Cricket writer) committed suicide

Cricket writer Roebuck committed suicide died

Sun, Nov 13 2011 Renowned cricket writer Peter Roebuck committed suicide in his hotel room South African police confirmed to AFP on Sunday. 

England-born Roebuck, 55 and a former first class cricketer, was covering the ongoing Test series between South Africa and Australia. 

Captain Frederik van Wyk, spokesman for the South African Police in the Western Cape province, confirmed that a British citizen had been found in his room having committed suicide. 

"I can confirm that the incident took place at a quarter past nine on Saturday," said van Wyk. 

"A 55-year-old British citizen was found dead in a hotel room in Newlands, Cape Town. He was working as a cricket commentator for an Australian publication. He committed suicide. 

"An inquest docket has been opened for investigation. I cannot say more at the moment." 

He wouldn't confirm media reports that Roebuck was spoken to by local police earlier on Saturday and that people had seen him in agitated state following that. 

Roebuck studied law at Cambridge and played 335 first-class matches before making a career writing about the sport, quickly establishing an avid following with his forthright, intelligent prose. 

He regularly commentated for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and wrote for the nation's Fairfax newspapers. 

"It is with great shock that we have learnt today that Peter Roebuck has died in Newlands, South Africa," Fairfax chief Greg Hywood said in a statement. 

"Peter was not only an extremely gifted cricket writer for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, he was also one of Australia's most popular cricket commentators for the ABC," added Hywood. 

"In recent years he built a reputation as one of the best columnists on the sport." 

Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland expressed shock at the death of Roebuck, a "familiar face" to the Australian cricket team, who had been with the players "only hours before his sudden death". 

"He spoke his mind frankly and while one didn't necessarily always have to agree, you always respected what he had to say," he added. 

Craig Norenbergs, head of the ABC's Grandstand sports programme, said it was "incredibly sad news". 

"He was an integral part of the Grandstand commentary team, apart from being a magnificent print journalist," Norenbergs said. 

"For us he could describe a game of cricket in such a way that even if you didn't like the game, you liked the way that he went about his business." 

Roebuck, a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1988, captained English county side Somerset in the 1980s and was not afraid of taking brave decisions as when he decided Somerset's two West Indies icons Viv Richards and Joel Garner should not have their contracts renewed. 

In came Kiwi Martin Crowe and a very young Steve Waugh but England star all-rounder Ian Botham did not approve and he left for Worcestershire - Somerset went on to win the county championship. 

Roebuck was never far from controversy on and off the pitch and in 2001 received a suspended prison sentence in England for common assault for caning three South African teenage cricketers who had stayed with him in 1999. 

Roebuck had caned them on their buttocks - he said he had warned them he would resort to corporal punishment - when they failed to meet his exacting standards during coaching sessions. 

"Obviously I misjudged the mood and that was my mistake and my responsibility and I accept that," he said at the time. 

Roebuck's father said his son was seen as "odd" in orthodox spheres, "whereas he is merely obscure and oblique." 

"He is an unconventional loner with an independent outlook on life, an irreverent sense of humour and sometimes a withering tongue," the elder Roebuck said in his son's 2005 autobiography "Sometimes I Forgot to Laugh".