England:The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BBCI) raised security concerns with the International Cricket Council (ICC) after aircraft with anti-India slogans fly during their match against Sri Lanka in Leeds on Saturday.
Minutes after India’s final group stage match started, an aircraft carrying the banner ‘Justice for Kashmir’ flew above Headingley stadium. After a half an hour, a similar looking aircraft flew over the stadium with a different banner – ‘India Stop Genocide, Free Kashmir’.
Writing to ICC, a BCCI official was quoted by PTI as saying, “This is completely unacceptable. We have written to the ICC, raising our concerns about what happened in Headingley. If this kind of incident is repeated in the semi-finals, it will be really unfortunate. Safety and security of our players is paramount.”
This is second such incident inside 10 days as Afghanistan and Pakistan fans had clashed at the same venue on June 29 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 a brawl inside the stadium premises.
The ICC also released a statement after the match, expressing disappointment. “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.