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ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

ICC 'disappointed' by plane protests during World Cup matches

The International Cricket Council strongly reacted to the continued practice of political banners flying over grounds during World Cup games and reiterated its commitment to working with authorities to create a no-fly zone over Lord's for the tournament final between England and New Zealand on Sunday.

A light aircraft flew over a designated no-fly zone in Birmingham during England's semi-final clash against Australia, displaying political messages reading "World must speak up for Balochistan" and "Help end disappearances in Pakistan".

This has been a recurring pattern all throughout the tournament with similar incidents taking place in previous games, as the ICC expressed neutrality on the issue of the provocatively-worded slogans.

"We do not condone any sort of political messages at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup," the ICC declared.

"We have worked with local police forces around the country throughout the tournament to prevent the World Cup being used as a platform for political protests.

"So we are incredibly disappointed these flights continue to take place. We are working very closely with the relevant agencies to make sure there is an air exclusion zone in place for manned and unmanned flights during the (Sunday's) final at Lord's."

The airspace in Old Trafford was established as a "no-fly zone" for the game involving India and New Zealand earlier this week in a bid to prevent political banners such as those witnessed in India's match against Sri Lanka being flown over the stadium again.

A "Justice for Balochistan" banner attached to an aircraft created controversy during the Pakistan-Afghanistan game last month that also was subject to violent confrontations between fans from opposing teams.

Police also had made a couple of arrests ahead of Tuesday's game in Manchester although the two men were later exonerated without any charge.

It emerged that fans, presumably Sikh separatists, had worn T-shirts imprinted with political messages demanding an independent homeland.