The International Cricket Council has taken a grim view of the scuffle between Afghanistan and Pakistan cricket fans outside the Headingley Cricket Ground in Leeds on Saturday, and said that strict action will be taken against the guilty.
Several cricket fans of the two nations clashed outside the stadium after an unauthorised plane flew over the venue with a 'Justice for Balochistan' message. This reportedly triggered clashes on the grounds with several Afghan and Pakistani fans landing slaps and punches on each other. The ICC criticised the incident and said it would ensure that such events do not hamper the spirit of playing and following cricket. "We`re aware of scuffles among a minority of fans and are currently working with venue security team and local police to ensure there`re no further incidents. We don`t condone such behaviour and will take action against anti-social behaviour that spoils the enjoyment for majority of fans," it said in a statement.
While Leeds Air Traffic will investigate the matter pertaining to the airplane with the political message, tensions between Afghan and Pakistani fans remained for most parts of the ICC Cricket World Cup match between their teams. This was also because of how close the match was.
Pakistan eventually managed to survive Afghanistan's heroic efforts with the ball and script a three-wicket win with just two deliveries left. The stakes were extremely high as Pakistan's chances of a berth in semis could have been extremely difficult had the team lost the match. As for the Afghans, a win against Pakistan could have been a massive shot in the arm in a tournament in which the minnows have been unable to collect any points. The eventual result still does not guarantee Pakistan a place in the semis.