MANCHESTER    -    A no-fly zone has been put in place over Old Trafford cricket ground to stop political banners being displayed during the ICC World Cup semi-final.

Organisers requested a ban to avoid a repeat of messages which appeared during India’s game against Sri Lanka at Headingley in Leeds on Saturday. Greater Manchester Police (GMP) asked authorities to enforce it during the game between India and New Zealand. The ICC said it did not condone “political messages” at the tournament. A spokesman for cricket’s governing body added: “We are very happy with the plans put in place by GMP and comfortable there will be no repeat of what we saw at Headingley.”

A number of banners were flown over the Leeds stadium behind a small aircraft during India’s final group game, which prompted the ICC to raise the issue with police. The ICC added that so far, five games at Old Trafford had passed “without incident”, including the game between fierce rivals India and Pakistan. The Civil Aviation Authority said it had received a request from GMP and the no-fly zone would remain in place until Wednesday morning.