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Pakistan 'concerned' after Australia pitch attack



Khalid Latif (C) plays a shot © AFP

Pakistani officials on Tuesday expressed concern that Australian authorities did not do enough to protect Pakistani cricketers, after a team member was attacked by a spectator in Perth.

The spectator jumped onto the field and wrested Pakistan's Khalid Latif to the ground during the fifth and final one-day match in Perth on Sunday.

The fan, named as 37-year-old David Fraser, was charged with assault and has been summoned to appear in court later this month.

"We are really concerned over the issue," Pakistan's Sports Minister Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani said in remarks broadcast on local television stations.

"I think the CA (Cricket Australia) should put a kind of barrier or restriction to stop people entering the ground and this incident has raised the importance of such steps."

Pakistan Cricket Board chief operating officer Wasim Bari said Cricket Australia and the International Cricket Council (ICC) were dealing with the situation, with the ICC requesting a report on the incident.

"We were concerned about our player's safety and Cricket Australia have unconditionally apologised to us because players' safety is top of every country's agenda," he told AFP.

"Latif was initially jolted by the incident but is now well," said Bari, a former Pakistan captain.

"CA has told us that the offender will be dealt under the law of the land and they will keep us informed about the progress," said Bari.

Pakistan lost the Tests 3-0 and one-dayers 5-0 on the tour which finished on Sunday, prompting the chief selector to hand in his resignation and the PCB to vow to redress major failings after their crushing defeat.

Sunday's game was also marred by Pakistan's star all-rounder Shahid Afridi's two-match ban for biting the ball.

Foreign teams have refused to tour Pakistan and the nation was stripped of its World Cup games after a March 2009 gun and grenade attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore, when eight people were killed and seven players injured.

© AFP
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