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World Cup 2019: ICC releases official statement on plane flying with ‘Justice for Kashmir’ banner during Ind-SL match

The ICC and British authorities have failed in regulating the air space during match hours in Leeds.

A plane carries a message 'justice for Kashmir' during the match between India and Sri Lanka
A plane carries a message ‘justice for Kashmir’ during the match between India and Sri Lanka. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Cricket is a very popular sport in many countries and hence is used as a platform to make statements of all kinds as well. During the ICC World Cup 2019, there have been multiple instances where unidentified people with unknown objectives have flown planes over the venue with banners tailing it. It repeated during the India vs Sri Lanka match not once but thrice which was a shocker and eventually the ICC had to release a statement.

It all started with a banner for Balochistan during the Pakistan-Afghanistan match and today a banner for Kashmir was seen in India-Sri Lanka encounter. A two-seater aeroplane with a banner saying: “Justice for Kashmir” attached to its tail flew over the Headingley Cricket Ground in Leeds for all the journalists and other media covering the match to see.

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Later it was reported that the plane had no permission to fly over the ground and had violated the airspace. Given that a similar incident had happened a match earlier, it had to be the British authority’s prerogative to take down the miscreants and make sure that nothing such happens in future. However, with the plane flying across the skies above the ground, not once but twice, raises serious questions over their preparedness.

The Kashmir issue has been raked up quite a lot in recent times, especially after the Pulwama incident and later Indian airstrikes in Pakistan’s Balakot region in retaliation. It was even rumoured that India might boycott playing Pakistan in the World Cup match, however, things de-escalated and the match did happen.

ICC’s statement

Now ICC has come out with their official statement about the incidence which reads: “Throughout the tournament we’ve worked with local police forces to prevent this type of protest occurring. After the previous incident we were assured by West Yorkshire Police there wouldn’t be a repeat of this issue, so we are very dissatisfied it’s happened again.”

Even after the ICC’s statement and all that, the plane flew a third time. It was not for a political cause this time but with a proposal. However, the reason is the less important thing here and the fact that the police have failed to regulate the airspace is a serious cause of concern.

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