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MANY of the world's top cricketers share Australia's concern about staging the Champions Trophy in Pakistan from September 11 to 28 because of concerns over player safety.

Cricket Australia appears set to miss the tournament in the strife-torn nation despite the International Cricket Council's support for it.

South Africa captain Graeme Smith says his players have "major concerns" about playing due to the security situation, echoing the fears of Australian, English and New Zealand players and raising the prospect of player and team boycotts of the tournament.

Smith says the situation has worsened in Pakistan since his team visited last October, when a bomb exploded in Karachi soon after they left for Lahore and a state of emergency was declared only days after the end of the tour. "A lot has happened in Pakistan from a security point of view since we were there and those are things that are worrying us," Smith says.

"I don't know any players who don't have issues with regards to security in Pakistan

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