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Cricket World Cup 2019

ICC statement questions police as new banner flown over Headingley

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

The ICC has expresssed disappointment with West Yorkshire Police for failing to prevent another political banner being flown over Headingley during a World Cup match.

India’s game against Sri Lanka was inside its first hour when a plane appeared overhead trailing a message calling for a ‘Free Kashmir’, in reference to the region whose ownership is disputed by India and neighbours Pakistan.

The incident came a week to the day after a banner reading ‘Justice for Balochistan’ was flown over Pakistan’s game against Afghanistan, leading to confrontation between some supporters attending the game.

Reacting to the latest episode, the ICC released a statement which read,  “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.”

India went into Saturday’s game – their last in the group stage – already assured of a semi-final place and with Sri Lanka already eliminated.

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