The Indian cricket team wore camouflage caps during the third one-day international (ODI) against Australia in Ranchi as a mark of tribute to the 40 CRPF soldiers who lost their lives in the Pulwama terror attack on February 14.
India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun, on Tuesday, said that the gesture of showing solidarity with the armed forces was something that Indian team felt they need to do and complimented the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) for taking prior permission from the ICC.
“I think we did what we really felt we needed to do for the country, showing solidarity in what the army has done for the country, in some way we wanted to show that we really appreciate the cause,” Arun said.
However, the gesture did not go down well with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and was heavily criticized in Pakistan. Information minister Fawad Chaudhry even called for the ICC to ban the Indian cricket team for mixing politics with sports. Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ehsan Mani said he has “strongly taken up the matter with the ICC”.
Addressing the issue, Arun said, “It is beyond our control for what the PCB says. The BCCI has done well to get permission from the ICC and we were handed over the caps and we wanted to show solidarity and that’s why we did it.”
In the past, the ICC has reprimanded or banned international players for showing off their political sentiments during international matches. England allrounder Moeen Ali was banned five years ago for wearing wristbands showing off slogans ‘Save Gaza’ and ‘Free Palestine’ during a Test match against India.