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PCB, CA dismiss threats against Ashton Agar

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ISLAMABAD: Cricket Australia and the Pakistan Cricket Board responded swiftly to a death threat delivered to Australian all-rounder Ashton Agar, saying on Monday they believed it was “not considered a risk”.

Agar’s partner was sent a social media message — likely from India in an attempt to disrupt Australia’s first tour of Pakistan since 1998 — warning the cricketer should not travel to Pakistan or risk not returning.

“Your children will miss their Father if he comes to Pakistan. Our snipers will blow his head,” part of the message reads.

The message was immediately reported to authorities, including the combined government security agencies.

In a statement, it was found that the threat was not credible and it is believed the message came from a fake Instagram account.

“Cricket Australia is aware of a social media post, of which the nature and content has been investigated by the PCB, CA and combined Government security processes,” a CA statement read.

“There are extensive security plans in place for this type of social media activity, which, in this case, is not considered a risk. No further comment will be made at this time.”

Agar does not have any children, but the threat was an early reminder of the tensions of playing in Pakistan.

Australia touched down in Islamabad less than 48 hours ago for what is their first tour of Pakistan in 24 years due to security risks.

Some 4,000 police and military personnel are guiding the team over the course of the six week tour, which includes three Tests, three ODIs and a lone T20 fixture.

Media reports said the threat sent to Agar’s partner originated from India and was a plot to try and scare the tourists from completing their tour.

The threat will not be looked at fondly by the PCB on the eve of the highly anticipated series.

New Zealand left Pakistan on the day of their first game last year after receiving threats. England then cancelled their series.

Teams have stayed away since terrorists attacked a Sri Lanka team bus on the way to a game in Lahore in 2009.

Since arriving in Pakistan on Sunday, Australia’s senior members have said they feel comfortable and safe in the country.

Published in Dawn, March 1st, 2022


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