The India-Australia ODI World Cup Final at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad came to a brief pause after an individual donning a “Stop Bombing Palestine” t-shirt entered the field while the match was underway on Sunday, 19 November.
The pitch invader, who was also wearing a facemask with the Palestinian flag and carrying a rainbow flag in support of LGBTQIA+ communities, breached the field during the first innings, sprinted towards Virat Kohli, and was seen putting his arms around Kohli, who pushed him away gently.
The breach led to a stoppage of play and the match’s live telecast reportedly switched to advertisements after a momentary glimpse of the pitch invader. However, images were quickly shared by social media users.
Security forces stationed around the ground eventually grabbed the invader and escorted him out of the stadium. He was subsequently taken to Chandkheda Police Station in Ahmedabad.
'Pyjama Man, Fan of Kohli, TikToker'
In a short video following his detainment, the pitch invader said that his name is Johnson, and added that he entered the field to meet Virat Kohli. When a journalist asked him about his pro-Palestine t-shirt, he expressed support for the Palestinian cause.
"The accused described himself as a big fan of Virat Kohli and had come to watch the match and being a fan of Kohli, he crossed the railing and went into the ground," the Ahmedabad Police said.
The pitch invader was identified as Johnson Wen, an Australian reportedly of Chinese-Filipino heritage, and a TikToker who goes by the moniker Pyjama Man. But most importantly:
This is not the first time the Australian has invaded a sports game to make a statement.
In August 2023 Johnson interrupted the FIFA Women’s World Cup final in Sydney where Spain was playing and eventually defeated England. Johnson ran into the pitch wearing a t-shirt that says “Free Ukraine” and “Stop Putler” (Wordplay on Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Putin) and a mashup of the two’s face.
According to a report in The News Minute, Johnson gathered a significant following on TikTok by performing pranks and performing the floss, a popular dance trend on the internet. However, his acts have landed Wen in hot water with law enforcement in the past as well.
In 2020, he made headlines for his antics at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium during State of Origin III, an annual rugby league series in Australia. His intrusion onto the field resulted in a fine of AUS $220, alongside a dance performance that later surfaced on TikTok.
In a separate incident where he received a AUS $250 fine for a risky stunt, hanging off a footbridge in Brisbane. He pleaded guilty to charges of public nuisance and engaging in unregulated high-risk activity. Additionally, he caused a disturbance at the South Brisbane bus terminal by walking into the road, repeatedly tossing a hat, and eventually lying down, leading a bus to slow down to avoid an accident.
After the CWC Final incident in Ahmedabad, a case was registered against Wen under Sections 332 (Voluntarily Causing Hurt to Deter Public Servant from his Duty) and 447 ( criminal trespass) for unauthorised entry into the Gujarat Cricket Association.
A report by news agency PTI said that cricket’s governing body, the International Cricket Council, does not allow political protests at games. However, it added that it is not yet known what action will be taken against the foreign national.