LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) – Muslims joined Christians in observing a minute of silence, lighting candles and offering prayers Sunday in a memorial for slain Pakistani cricket coach Bob Woolmer.

About 200 people, including cricket players and officials, attended the service at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Lahore, the home of Pakistani cricket.

The 58-year-old Woolmer was found unconscious in his hotel room in Kingston, Jamaica, on March 18 and pronounced dead at a hospital the morning after his team’s stunning loss to Ireland and elimination from the Cricket World Cup. Jamaican police said Woolmer was strangled.

The Rev. Lawrence Saldanha, the Catholic archbishop of Lahore, led the prayers for Woolmer.

Naseem Ashraf, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, lit two candles and put flowers in front of a portrait of Woolmer during the memorial, which was open to the public. Ashraf likened Woolmer’s death to that of a family member.

“He was like a shepherd who always looked after his flock,” said Ashraf, who was asked by Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf to continue in his job after he offered to resign following the World Cup defeat.

Pakistan team captain Inzamam-ul-Haq offered flowers on behalf of his team members. Inzamam resigned as captain and stepped down from international cricket after the team’s ouster.

“It is very hard to say something about a person who has been very close to you,” said Inzamam, a burly, bearded batsman. “The feelings I have are hard to explain. … He was an excellent coach, but he was even a better human being.”

Ashraf has said that Pakistan will send two senior investigators to Jamaica to observe or assist in the investigation. On Saturday, he said he was “100 percent” confident no Pakistani player was involved in the death.


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