A pitch invader in support of Palestine tried to hug India’s star batter and former captain Virat Kohli during the ICC World Cup 2023 final on Sunday in Ahmedabad.
The pitch invader was wearing a shirt which stated ‘stop bombing Palestine’ on the front and ‘free Palestine’ on the back. He was also wearing a mask which had the Palestinian flag printed on it.
It must be noted that on October 7, 2023, an armed conflict broke out between Israel and Hamas from the Gaza Strip after the latter launched a multi-pronged invasion of southern Israel.
The Israeli military retaliated by conducting an extensive aerial bombardment campaign on Gazan targets, followed by a large-scale ground invasion of Gaza. At least 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians, and more than 11,650 Palestinians, including 4,758 children, have been killed in the fighting. The current hostilities constitute the fifth war of the Gaza–Israel conflict, which is part of the broader Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
Earlier, Australia captain Pat Cummins won the toss and elected to field first against undefeated India in the World Cup final to be played in front of 130,000 fans.
Both teams remain unchanged for the clash at the world´s biggest cricket stadium where Australia, playing in an eighth final, look for a sixth title.
India won the World Cup in 1983 and then again on home soil in 2011.
Rohit Sharma´s India have won all their 10 matches at the tournament and retain the winning XI from their 70-run semi-final win over New Zealand in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Rohit said he would have opted to bat first had he won the toss.
The hosts are looking to end a global title drought since their Champions Trophy win in 2013.
In the group stage, they lost to India in their opener by six wickets and to South Africa by 134 runs before putting together an eight-game winning streak.
Australia hammered India in the 2003 World Cup final in Johannesburg.
India: Rohit Sharma (capt), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wkt), Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj
Australia: David Warner, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Inglis (wk), Marcus Stoinis, Sean Abbott, Pat Cummins (capt), Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood