Kashmir banners over cricket stadium ‘unacceptable’, BCCI tells ICC

Kashmir banners over cricket stadium ‘unacceptable’, BCCI tells ICC

Leeds: Aircraft flying over the Headingly cricket stadium with anti-India banners was “unacceptable”, a miffed BCCI said on Sunday while raising concerns over the safety of its players with the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Planes displaying banners that read “Justice for Kashmir” and “India Stop Genocide, Free Kashmir” flew over the Headingley ground during the World Cup match between India and Sri Lanka on Saturday. Midway into India’s run chase, a third aircraft was seen with a banner, “Help End Mob Lynching”.
The incident prompted the BCCI to file a written complaint with the ICC.
“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,” a senior BCCI official told PTI.
The ICC said in a statement, “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.”
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 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.
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. —PTI