Renowned cricket writer and commentator Peter Roebuck, who also wrote for Indian newspapers, committed suicide at a hotel in South Africa on Saturday night after reportedly being questioned by police.
A report in the Sydney Morning Herald, an Australian newspaper the 55-year-old was a columnist for, said a Cape Town detective and a uniformed police officer from the sexual crimes unit began speaking with the former Somerset captain in his hotel room in Cape Town at about 9pm on Saturday.
Roebuck then spoke to a fellow cricket journalist, “Can you come down to my room quickly? I’ve got a problem”, the report said.
Cape Town police captain Frederick van Wyk on Sunday refused comment when asked if Roebuck was questioned about a sexual assault.
Herald Sun — a Melbourne-based tabloid — quoted a source as saying the police did question the cricket commentator over such allegations.
“There was an incident around 9pm on Saturday night when a British citizen who is a cricket commentator committed suicide by jumping from the sixth floor of his Claremont hotel,” said van Wyk.
England-born Roebuck was covering the ongoing Test series between South Africa and Australia.
He would 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 that they won.
It was during this game that Andrew Symonds had accused Harbhajan Singh of making racial comments — an incident that came to be known as “monkeygate”.
Roebuck, who scored more than 17,000 first class runs, retired from the game in 1991 and moved to Australia.
He forged a career as a stylish and strongly opinionated cricket writer for the Herald, Melbourne’s the Age and latterly Cricinfo website.
He penned several books. His diary of the 1983 season, It Never Rains, established him as one of cricket’s most insightful and strong voices. He also wrote an autobiography, Sometimes I Forgot To Laugh.