An unnamed aircraft with a banner "World Must Speak Up For Balochistan" was spotted flying over the Edgbaston stadium during the England-Australia semi-final match. This incident happened days after multiple planes flew during India-Sri Lanka group match at the World Cup with banners reading, "Justice for Kashmir," and "India stop genocide & free Kashmir." It was followed by another plane with a message "India stop mob lynching".
It is not yet known who was flying the plane. Watch the video here:
Thursday's incident happened despite multiple complaints being raised with the International Cricket Council (ICC) and local authorities in England.
According to reports, the ICC had asked all venues before World Cup not to allow any non-commercial planes flying overhead. After this incident, the Old Trafford stadium was made a "No Fly Zone" for India's semi-final clash against New Zealand. "We had clearly stated about the breach of security and also raised concerns about the security of our players. Accordingly, ECB has sent a confirmation to CEO Rahul Johri that Old Trafford air space has been turned into a 'No Fly Zone' for the day," a BCCI official news agency told PTI.
Earlier, the ICC had issued a statement after a plane with a banner "Justice for Kashmir" attached to its tail was seen flying over the cricket ground when India was fielding against Sri Lanka. "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," the ICC statement stated.
This episode has left ICC embarrassed as it was the second such incident of a security breach after an unnamed aircraft flew with the banner "Justice For Balochistan" during the game between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
This was the third such banner display at a global stadium.