The protesters were denouncing Adani Group’s coal-mining project in Australia
Eastern Times, Sports Desk: Two protesters invaded the pitch and interrupted the first one-day international (ODI) between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground today.
The protesters were denouncing Adani Group’s coal-mining project in Australia. The pitch invaders were part of a larger group of protesters who were demonstrating outside the stadium.
Most of the protesters were wearing “Stop Adani” T-shirts. The two who made their way into the playing arena were carrying placards which read “Why is State Bank of India giving Adani Rs 100 crore of taxpayers’ money?”
Indian pacer Navdeep Saini was about to bowl the sixth over of the match when the pitch invasion took place. One protester reached quite close to the pitch.
Security personnel hustled the protesters soon after.
One of the protesters outside the stadium said: “All those watching the match should know why State Bank of India is giving away taxpayers’ money to Adani. The coal project will cause immense damage to the environment.”
Meanwhile Indian cricketers joined their Australian counterparts in forming a ‘barefoot circle’ ahead of the match. The ceremony is an acknowledgement of Australia’s Aboriginal heritage and culture.
In its website Cricket Australia said: “The barefoot circle is a cricket centric way for players and teams to take a moment prior to matches to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land, connect to each other as opponents and pay respect to the country.”
Cricket Australia has allowed spectators to fill up 50% of stadium capacity. India will play three ODIs, three T20 matches and four Tests.