The International Cricket Council (ICC) may have directed MS Dhoni to not sport the Army Insignia on his wicketkeeping gloves but a section of India fans at The Oval flaunted the Balidaan Badge during India’s high-voltage World Cup match against Australia on Sunday.
MS Dhoni sported the Balidaan Badge on his gloves during India’s World Cup 2019 against South Africa. The images of his wicketkeeping gloves with the Army crest went viral on social media.
However, the ICC directed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to make sure MS Dhoni gets the crest removed from his gloves for the remainder of the World Cup 2019.
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The ICC’s directive created a huge uproar back in India as a nationalistic narrative was created around MS Dhoni’s gesture. The BCCI had written to the ICC, seeking permission to allow Dhoni to continue wearing the special pair of gloves at the World Cup.
However, the ICC responded to the BCCI, saying the Army Insignia on Dhoni’s gloves is not permissible.
“The ICC has responded to the BCCI to confirm the logo displayed by MS Dhoni in the previous match is not permitted to be worn on his wicket-keeping gloves at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.
“The regulations for ICC events do not permit any individual message or logo to be displayed on any items of clothing or equipment. In addition to this, the logo also breaches the regulations in relation to what is permitted on wicketkeeper gloves,” the ICC had responded in an official release.
Among the many who criticised the ICC for asking Dhoni to remove the Army Insignia was S Sreesanth who said the apex body of international cricket should apologise not just to Dhoni but to the entire nation.
Speaking to India Today, Sreesanth said: “ICC should be apologizing not just to MS Dhoni but the entire country. This is not the way to dictate terms with the country that is literally ruling Indian cricket.
“With Dhoni being an honorary lieutenant colonel with the parachute regiment, we all know how patriotic that man is. He single-handedly wins matches for India.”
Former pacer RP Singh also said he found it tough to understand why the ICC would have an objection to MS Dhoni’s gesture, considering it wasn’t political or religious.
“Tough for me to understand how @msdhoni’s on-field gesture on his glove is a problem to @ICC. His fans have taken inspiration out of it and he himself is a respected Lt.Col, really strange.”
MS Dhoni walked out for the national anthem seemingly unfluttered by the controversy that had erupted over his gloves as India are taking on Australia in London.
Vice-captain Rohit Sharma, while speaking to the press on the eve of the big clash, said the players were not even aware of the controversy.
“I have no idea about it at all. I am not the captain I don’t know what is happening with that and have nothing to say about it,” Rohit had said.