During India’s most-awaited opening World Cup game against South Africa in Southampton, MS Dhoni’s wicketkeeping gloves, that had a dagger logo embossed and looked like an Army insignia, caught everyone’s attention.
After India’s opening win, the International Cricket Council (ICC) however asked the BCCI to get it removed, saying that endorsement of any such symbol other than the merchandise is a breach of their policy, citing rules which forbid display of messages ‘which relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes.’
ICC’s request to the Indian cricket board (BCCI) did not go down well with the Indian fans as #DhoniKeepTheGlove started trending on social media with political stars and celebrities coming out in support of the Indian wicketkeeper.
BCCI made a counter-request to the governing body asking them to let the former captain support it and said that they had already written to the ICC seeking permission for Dhoni to sport the insignia. On Friday, however, the ICC rejected the request from India to allow Dhoni to wear a military logo on his gloves.
When did the controversy start?
Dhoni, an honorary lieutenant colonel in the territorial army, sported its dagger insignia on his gloves during India’s opening World Cup match against South Africa on Wednesday. While Dhoni might have worn similar gloves on an earlier occasion, the ‘balidaan’ insignia got even more attention at the World Cup centre stage with fans hailing his unique style of paying tribute to the army.
This is not the first time that the Indian cricket team has shown their support to a cause through their merchandise or jerseys. A few months back, the men in blue wore army camouflage-style caps in a one-day match against Australia in March to show their solidarity with Indian paramilitary police killed in a militant attack by a Pakistan-based group.
What is the Balidaan badge?
The insignia on Dhoni’s gloves is a dagger with wings, similar to that on the badge of Para Special Forces. However, the Para badge also has the word ‘Balidan’ (sacrifice), which was missing from the gloves worn by Dhoni.
What is BCCI’s stand?
Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai’s initial reaction was that Dhoni will continue wearing the dagger insignia on his wicket-keeping gloves as it is not a military symbol. He said the BCCI had sought the ICC’s permission for it. The BCCI sent a formal request to the ICC seeking permission but it later got rejected.
What does ICC rule book say?
The ICC said its clothing and equipment rules allow only manufacturers’ logos on gloves and Dhoni and the India team had not sought permission for the badge.
The ICC rulebook says, “In particular, no logo shall be permitted to be displayed on cricket clothing or cricket equipment, other than a national logo, a commercial logo, an event logo, a manufacturer’s logo, a player’s bat logo, a charity logo or a non-commercial logo as provided in the regulations.”
“Where any match official becomes aware of any clothing or equipment that does not comply with the rules, he shall be authorised to prevent the offending person from taking the field of play (or to order them from the field of play, if appropriate) until the non-compliant clothing or equipment is removed or appropriately covered up.”