Dhoni asked to remove Army-insignia from gloves, BCCI to appeal
Former Indian cricket team skipper MS Dhoni has been embroiled in a controversy at the ongoing ICC World Cup 2019. The ICC has asked the veteran cricketer to remove an Indian Army insignia from his wicket-keeping gloves. This is due to the number of logos permitted on a specific gear. Here are the details.
What sparked the controversy?
Dhoni was spotted donning the Army insignia gloves during India's opening World Cup 2019 match against South Africa on June 5. The ICC then asked the BCCI not to allow MSD from wearing the same during India's next encounter against Australia on Sunday. The 'Balidaan Badge' or the Army insignia was seen on television during the match.
Key information about the Balidaan Badge or the Army insignia
'Balidaan' is a distinct insignia of the special forces which is attached to the Parachute Regiment. The special forces personnel are allowed to wear 'Balidaan' patch. Only para commandos are allowed to wear the patch. The logo has a commando dagger that's pointed downwards. There are wings that extend upwards from the blade. The scroll on the blade has 'Balidaan' inscribed in Devanagari.
This is what the ICC said
"Two manufacturers' logos are permitted on each wicket-keeping glove. No other visible logos other than the manufacturers' logos are allowed," Claire Furlong, the ICC General Manager — Strategic Communications, told The Indian Express.
BCCI in favor of MSD, to seek permission
Earlier, Dhoni was conferred an honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment in 2011. He had also undergone training under the Para Brigade in 2015. Meanwhile, the BCCI is in favor of Dhoni. Sources claim that the BCCI will go through all the formalities required to get ICC's approval. CoA chief Vinod Rai feels that the Insignia is neither commercial nor religious.
India had paid tribute to armed forces with camouflage caps
Earlier this year, the Indian team had paid tribute to the armed forces by wearing special camouflage caps in an ODI at Ranchi. The move was in support of the martyrs who were killed during the deadly Pulwama terror attack on February 14. The BCCI had got permission from the ICC beforehand itself. Although, Pakistan accused Virat Kohli & Co. of politicizing the game.
Instances when Indian players wore something to support a cause
Last year at the fifth and final Test match between England and India at The Oval, both team captains had donned a poppy made out of khadi. This was done to recognize the role of Indian soldiers in the First World War, where they had served under the British armed forces. Against Australia, Kohli had supported the 'Pink Test' in his own way.
How have people reacted?
Dhoni has been trending on social media sites with fans supporting him for his choice. #DhoniKeepTheGlove became a top trend. Several sports personalities, Bollywood stars and retired Army personnel have supported Dhoni. On the contrary, former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia told News18, "A player should go by the rules and regulations. If it's against that, then Dhoni will have to remove it."
ICC should back Dhoni: Our take
We support Dhoni in this matter. He is a special forces designate and there is no hidden agenda. Dhoni hasn't promoted any form of political, religious and racial statement with a playing gear. The ICC should allow Dhoni to wear the gloves.