Palestine supporter invades pitch during World Cup 2023 FINAL, tries to hug Kohli: ‘Planned’
The incident happened in the presence of Indian home minister Amit Shah who attended the match.
A Palestine supporter breaches security to meet India batter Virat Kohli during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 final match against Australia, at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, India, on Sunday, November 19, 2023. (ANI Photo)
THE final of the ICC Men’s cricket World Cup 2023 between India and Australia on Sunday (19) remained witness to an unprecedented incident when a supporter of Palestine breached security to invade the pitch at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad in the western Indian state of Gujarat and tried to hug India batter Virat Kohli, leaving all the players and billions of fans stunned.
The intruder, who donned a read-and-white t-shirt bearing the messages ‘Stop Bombing Palestine’ and ‘Free Palestine’ on front and back, ran onto the field. The incident momentarily stopped the title clash between the two cricketing superpowers.
Kohli was visibly shocked by the intrusion and tried to evade the invader who tried to embrace him. Security personnel rushed to apprehend the intruder who was also carrying an LGBTQ flag, but the social media was already set ablaze by the breach.
The incident raised serious questions over the state of security during such a high-profile cricket match.
A number of dignitaries, from the worlds of politics, sports and films were present at the venue when the incident happened. Indian home minister Amit Shah was also present.
A deadly conflict is currently occurring between Israel and Palestinian militant outfit Hamas in the Middle East, resulting in deaths of several thousands. Hamas carried out coordinated attacks on Israeli targets on October 7, triggering the war. The Indian government has also come under pressure from various quarters both at home and abroad over playing a constructive role in ending the conflict.
Kohli was batting with KL Rahul as the duo were resurrecting the Indian innings after the hosts lost three wickets for 81 runs, with openers Rohit Sharma (47) and Shubman Gill (4) and Shreyas Iyer (4) getting dismissed.
Pakistan wicket-keeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan stole the headlines after dedicating his hundred scored against Sri Lanka during this World Cup in Hyderabad last month to the Palestinians in Gaza assaulted by the Israeli forces, triggering a massive outrage.
Here are some reactions that were seen on social media following the act of intrusion at the cricket ground with many alleging it was planned and accused the local police of failing to prevent it: