India and New Zealand are all set to lock horns in the 2019 World Cup semi-final at the Old Trafford in Manchester. Virat Kohli and Co finished atop the points table in the league stage with 15 points and are being as the favourites to come out trumps, beating the Black Caps.
In the meantime, it has been learned that the venue has been made a ‘No Fly Zone’. The same decision was taken after a private plane displayed anti-India banners during the Men in Blue’s league match against Sri Lanka at the Headingley in Leeds.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has informed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that the move has been zeroed in on after consultation with the local authorities. The same was confirmed by a BCCI official, privy to the development.
“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,” the official was quoted as saying in Deccan Chronicle.
Air-violation for the second time
On July 6, a private aircraft flew from the Bradford Zone, displaying banners with “India stop Mob Lynching” and “Justice for Kashmir” over the Headingley air. It occurred a number of times during the contest. A similar incident at the same venue took place in the game between Afghanistan and Pakistan on June 29. That time, the banners had ‘Justice for Balochistan’ written on it.
A number of fans were evicted from the stadium after a brawl in the premises, which was believed to have been triggered by the banner’s display. The ICC has been left embarrassed following the same occurring in a space of a week. There were also assurances from West Yorkshire Police that such political slogans won’t be allowed as they are clearly against ICC’s code.
Despite that, no significant action was taken owing to which the global body expressed disappointment. It’s known that there isn’t any restriction on private aircraft being hired for publicity purpose.
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