Australia feel ‘incredibly safe’ in Pakistan despite death threat

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Steve Smith at nets
Steve Smith says he is fit again after suffering concussion during a T20 international last month

Batter Steve Smith says Australia’s players feel “incredibly safe” on their first tour of Pakistan in nearly 25 years, despite spinner Ashton Agar receiving a death threat.

The first Test in Rawalpindi begins on Friday and Cricket Australia said the threat against Agar, received on social media, was “not considered a risk”.

“We’ve got a lot of people working here with us, we trust our security and we’re feeling incredibly safe in Pakistan,” said Smith.

Australia, England and New Zealand have not toured Pakistan since an attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009 that killed six policemen and two civilians.

International sides have recently started touring Pakistan again, but in September New Zealand abandoned a tour minutes before the opening game in Rawalpindi following a government security alert.

Three days later England withdrew their men’s and women’s teams from tours in October, citing the “mental and physical wellbeing” of players.

Smith said: “It’s great to be back here and playing cricket.

“It’s the first time a lot of us have been here and we’re excited. We know how passionate Pakistanis are about cricket.”

Schedule

  • 4-8 March: First Test, Rawalpindi
  • 12-16 March: Second Test, Karachi
  • 21-25 March: Third Test, Lahore
  • 29 March: First ODI, Rawalpindi
  • 31 March: Second ODI, Rawalpindi
  • 2 April: Third ODI, Rawalpindi
  • 5 April: Twenty20, Rawalpindi

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