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Australia v India

‘Oddest pitch invasion’ – Protestors beat lax security at SCG during Australia-India ODI

Protest SCG
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

In an incident that brought to the fore lax security measures, protestors invaded the Sydney Cricket Ground during the first Australia-India ODI, and could walk around the playing area unchecked for what seemed a significant period, before eventually being escorted out.

The incident occurred before the start of the sixth over of Australia’s innings, when the protestors walked into the middle, carrying a placard that read “No $1BN Adani loan”, and wearing T-shirts printed with the words, “Stop Adani”.

The protests were presumably directed at the State Bank of India, who have reportedly offered a INR 5,000 crore [£50m] loan to Adani Enterprises Ltd’s Australian mining company earlier this month. The new deal reignited a long-drawn controversy surrounding the Carmichael coal mine, with the ‘Stop Adani’ group protesting against the project for years due to its harmful impact on the environment.

The protests weren’t impromptu: a press release indicated a joint initiative to send a message on the first day of international cricket in Australia since the Covid-19 induced break.

Protesters congregated at the SCG and used cricketing phrases like ‘Bowl over Adani’, ‘Hit Adani for a six’ and ‘Adani should be out’. The protests extended to Melbourne and Canberra, where the protesters targetted Indian consulates.

Cricket fans, however, couldn’t help question the slow approach by the security at SCG to banish the invaders; while the safety of the players was the major topic of discussion, others found a lighter side, wondering if the security was exercising ‘social distancing’.

David Warner, the Australia batsman was seemingly unimpressed by the delay in tackling the pitch invaders, and was seen raising his hands in the air and looking around, even as the protestors walked about, mask in place, displaying their placard to the crowd at SCG.

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