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Police probe ex-cricketer's death

An investigation into the death of British cricket commentator Peter Roebuck is continuing after the 55-year-old reportedly committed suicide following questioning by police over an alleged sexual assault, it has been reported.

The former Somerset cricket captain, who had been covering Australia's tour of South Africa, jumped from a hotel room window on Saturday night after he was reportedly questioned by officers from the sexual crimes unit.

However, police refused to comment on whether or not they had spoken to Roebuck at the Southern Sun Hotel in Newlands, Cape Town, prior to his death.

Officers have described Roebuck's death as suicide, and are continuing to examine the circumstances.

Captain Frederick van Wyk of Cape Town Police said: "An incident occurred last night (Saturday) at about 9.15pm at a hotel in Claremont where a 55-year-old British citizen, who worked as an Australian commentator, committed suicide."

Roebuck, who was working for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, captained Somerset and opened the batting for much of the 1980s and passed 1,000 runs nine times in 12 seasons. He was born in Oxford and moved to Australia and South Africa following his retirement.

Roebuck became a respected columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Cricinfo alongside his commentary duties. His uniquely opinionated brand of journalism made him one of the game's best known media men. He travelled regularly with the Australian cricket team and split the rest of his year living between Sydney and Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

South African police investigating Roebuck's death say they expect an inquest to last at least six weeks before an official cause can be determined.

A South African Police Service spokesman said there was nothing to suggest foul play had been involved but that a lengthy process would need to take place before a formal cause of death could be conveyed.

Police refused to comment on whether or not their sexual crimes unit had been in contact with Roebuck over alleged sexual assault allegations. In 2001 Roebuck was handed a four-month suspended jail sentence after admitting charges of common assault against three South African teenagers, who he had caned following a coaching session.


From Belfast Telegraph