The ‘Free Palestine’ message reached the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad during Sunday’s ICC World Cup 2023 final clash between Australia and India.
On Sunday, India faced Australia in the ICC World Cup 2023 final, aiming to secure their first major ICC global event victory since 2013. Play was momentarily halted when a pro-Palestinian protester breached security cordons, reaching the pitch and embracing India’s star batsman Virat Kohli.
The episode transpired during the 14th over of India’s innings at the 132,000-seat mega-stadium in Ahmedabad. The protester, donning a face mask in the colors of the Palestinian flag and a T-shirt bearing the slogans “Stop Bombing Palestine” and “Free Palestine,” sprinted onto the pitch.
During the 14th over of India’s innings, the protester approached Virat Kohli, putting his arm around the batsman, who tried to distance himself. Security officers promptly escorted the intruder off the pitch, and play resumed. In a video, he was seen being taken to the Chandkheda police station in Ahmedabad wearing a yellow T-shirt.
The pitch invader, self-identified as John from Australia, mentioned that he entered the pitch to meet Kohli, expressing support for Palestine. He was later brought to the police station.
It’s worth noting that on October 7, Hamas initiated a surprise attack on Israel from Gaza, resulting in the death of 1,200 Israelis, according to officials. In response, Israel imposed a blockade on the strip and launched a substantial assault, resulting in the death of over 12,000 Palestinians, including 5,000 children.
Despite the rising death toll and the ongoing risk to civilians in Gaza, Israel has consistently rejected calls for a ceasefire. India condemned Hamas, providing aid to Egypt for Palestinian civilians in the besieged Gaza Strip.