ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: BCCI writes to ICC after anti-India banners fly during India's match against Sri Lanka

The unsavoury incident has prompted the BCCI to file a written complaint with the ICC, raising concerns about the security of their players.

Press Trust of India, Jul 07, 2019 09:03:04 IST

Leeds: In yet another incident that has political overtone, unnamed aircrafts flew over the Headingley stadium with anti-India banners during the World Cup match between India and Sri Lanka, on Saturday.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: BCCI writes to ICC after anti-India banners fly during Indias match against Sri Lanka

An aircraft flies past carrying a banner that reads "Justice for Kashmir" over the field where India is playing against Sri Lanka. AP

The unsavoury incident has prompted the BCCI to file a written complaint with the ICC, raising concerns about the security of their players.

Minutes after the match began, an aircraft carrying the banner ''Justice for Kashmir'' flew above the ground.

After half an hour, a similar looking aircraft flew over the stadium with a different banner – ''India Stop Genocide, Free Kashmir''.

Midway into India''s run chase, a third aircraft was also seen with a banner - ''Help End Mob Lynching''.

"This is completely unacceptable. We have written to the ICC, raising our concern about what happened in Headingley today. If this kind of incident is repeated in the semi-finals, it will be really unfortunate. Safety and security of our players is paramount, a senior BCCI official, who is privy to the development told PTI.

This is second such incident inside 10 days as Afghanistan and Pakistan fans had clashed at the same venue on 29 June after ''Justice for Balochistan'' banner was displayed by an unnamed aircraft that landed at the Bradford airport.

A few fans were evicted for engaging in brawl inside the stadium premises.

The ICC has zero tolerance for political or racist slogans and expressed their disappointment at another security breach.

"We are incredibly disappointed this has happened again. We do not condone any sort of political messages at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup," the ICC said in a statement.

Yorkshire, in the north of England, is known for having a sizable Pakistan population with Bradford being their ghetto.

"Throughout the tournament we have worked with local police forces around the country to prevent this type of protest occurring. After the previous incident we were assured by West Yorkshire Police there would not be repeat of this issue, so we are very dissatisfied it has happened again," the ICC statement added.

It has also been learnt that the air space above Old Trafford in Manchester and Edgbaston in Birmingham will be turned into ''No-Fly Zone'' during the two semifinals on July 9 and July 11 respectively.

The ICC has been given assurance by the Manchester and Yorkshire police authorities in this respect.

ICC's outgoing Chief Executive Dave Richardson accepted during a recent interaction that even if they have foolproof security, it can never really be enough.

Saturday's incident is an indication that local authorities did not do enough as the airspace is their domain.

The incident however leaves ICC on the edge since a more dangerous security breach is feared.

For all the latest news, opinions and analysis from ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, click here

Updated Date: Jul 07, 2019 09:03:04 IST






Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 4756 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
6 New Zealand 4056 254