Australia vice-captain Steve Smith downplayed a social media death threat on all-rounder Ashton Agar on Tuesday after sights landed in Pakistan for their first tour of the Asian nation in 24 years. Smith said they trust their security team in Pakistan and feel safe.
Ashton Agar has been warned against traveling to Pakistan days before the first test, which begins March 4 in Rawalpindi. Earlier in the day, Cricket Australia and Pakistan Cricket Board rejected the threat after an investigation has been initiated.
Part of the message reads: “This is a warning to your husband Ashton Agar if he goes on tour against Pakistan he will not come [back] alive.” The message also references Agar’s children, although the cricketer has no children.
Australia had landed in Pakistan on Sunday for a multi-format series that included three Tests, three ODIs and a T20I. This is Australia’s first trip to Pakistan since 1998.
“We are aware of social media and the unfortunate events that can occur on platforms,” Smith said in Rawalpindi.
“We have a lot of people working with us here, we are confident in our safety and we feel incredibly safe in Pakistan.”
Pakistan has struggled to attract visiting teams since a deadly terrorist attack on the visiting Sri Lanka team’s bus in 2009, and Australia pulled out of a tour five years earlier after a suicide bombing at a church in Lahore. Last year, England and New Zealand suspended their trips to Pakistan over security concerns.
Smith’s assurance comes days after Captain Pat Cummins told the Australian players and support staff feel “incredibly safe” and cared for by the PCB.
RESULT-FREE SMITH READY FOR PAKISTAN TESTING
Meanwhile, Smith said he has recovered well from the concussion he sustained while performing during a T20I series against Sri Lanka in Sydney last month.
Smith suffered a concussion in a game against Sri Lanka in Sydney last month and hit his head on the ground after falling over the boundary rope, but the 32-year-old said he was making good progress.
“It’s my first session where I’ve faced fast bowling. I’m recovering from the concussion and I’m struggling with some side arm punches and spinners,” said Smith.
“The head has developed really well in the last few days. I feel like I’m in a good space, did a lot of stuff where I got my heart rate up to a good amount and lowered it…all part of logs for resuming the game.”