Two planes flew over Headingley Stadium in Leeds during India’s World Cup clash against Sri Lanka on Saturday, with banners of ‘Justice for Kashmir’ and ‘India stop genocide & free Kashmir’ attached to their tails.
It was the second instance when a plane flew over the stadium with some political messages in the ongoing World Cup. A plane with banner ‘Justice for Balochistan’ flew over the same ground on June 29 during Pakistan clash against Afghanistan.
“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. 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 a repeat of this issue, so we are very dissatisfied it has happened again,” an ICC spokesperson said on Saturday’s incident.
The BCCI has responded to the incident, raising concerns over the safety of its players with an “incredibly disappointed” and red-faced ICC.
“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.
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 semi-finals on July 9 and July 11 respectively.
Also, the ICC has been given assurance by the Manchester and Yorkshire police authorities in this respect.