Cricket World Cup final interrupted as security chase pro-Palestine protestor

The Cricket World Cup final between Australia and India was temporarily halted on Sunday when a pro-Palestine protestor invaded the pitch and approached one of India’s players. The final was interrupted for a brief period while security chased a man who ran onto the field of play with a T-shirt emblazoned with a message supporting Palestine in front of a huge crowd in the Indian city of Ahmedabad.

A man wearing a T-shirt with the words ‘FREE PALESTINE’ printed on the front ran out onto the field and approached India captain Virat Kohli, causing play to be stopped temporarily.

His mask was also black, green and red – the colours of the Palestine flag – as the 130,000 people crammed inside the Narendra Modi Stadium watched on.

Several stewards rushed onto the grass to detain the pitch invader, who had walked up to India’s Kohli and put his arm around him before he was removed by stadium security.

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It is the first Israel-Palestine protest to infiltrate international cricket since the conflict began in October and one of an increasing number after Just Stop Oil activists halted The Ashes in June with orange paint powder.

It is estimated that 11,000 Palestinians have been killed by the Israel Defence Force (IDF) since the conflict began on October 7 after Hamas militants targeted a festival near Gaza, killing 1,200 in the process.

A recent demonstration in London saw over 300,000 people take to the streets, while a college football match between Yale and Harvard was disrupted in the United States by crowd protests on Saturday.

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The match was able to resume shortly afterwards, with India first up to bat. At the time of writing, India were 172/4 after 34.4 overs, with KL Rahul still at the crease after reaching 50 off 85 balls.

Despite his earlier interaction with the protestor, Kohli managed to register a half-century but was bowled out by Pat Cummins for 54.

That was the first of two wickets for Cummins, who was also responsible for ending Shreyas Iyer’s day after just three balls as he was caught behind off a wicked delivery.

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