Sydney, Nov 27 (IANS) The first ODI between Australia and India on Friday suffered a brief disruption as a group of protesters invaded the pitch at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) holding placards saying ‘No $1B Adani Loan’.
Two people made their way into the centre fielding circle holding up cardboard signs before the start of the seventh over.
It took a while before the security guards reacted and escorted the protesters out of the field as players and umpires stood around wondering what was happening. The invaders were protesters against Adani Group and held ‘NO $1B ADANI LOAN’ sign.
The front of the protesters’ T-shirt read “#StopAdani”, while at the back, it said “Stop Coal. #StopAdani. Take Action.”
According to Fox Sports, a group named ‘Stop Adani’ on Friday issued a press release, urging the State Bank of India (SBI) not to approve a loan of $1 billion Australian dollars to Adani.
“Well that was possibly the oddest pitch invasion I’ve ever seen,” tweeted cricket journalist Melinda Farrell.
A Twitter handle by the name Galilee Blockade tweeted: “BREAKING!! These two #StopAdani CHAMPIONS have just run out onto the SCG, disrupting the first #AUSvsIND one day international cricket match! They are calling on SBI to rule out lending $1billion of public funds to fuel Adani’s climate-wrecking coal mine. LOVE their style!”
In September, Australia’s controversial Adani coal mine registered a victory against environmental activists while announcing that the project had brought more than 1,500 jobs to the state of Queensland during its construction.
The Stop Adani movement became a household name both in Australia and abroad, due to the mine’s planning and construction taking place against a backdrop of rising climate change concern.
It should be noted that for the first time since March — when international cricket came to a halt due to Covid-19 — fans have been allowed inside stadiums for men’s cricket.
SCG, which is venue for the first two ODIs of the ongoing series, is hosting 50 per cent crowd capacity while the Manuka Oval in Canberra, venue for the third match, will be at allowing 65 per cent crowd capacity.