Mahendra Singh Dhoni will continue wearing the dagger badge on his wicketkeeping gloves as it is not a military insignia, Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai stated on Friday, saying that the BCCI has sought the ICC’s permission for it.
“The BCCI had already sent a formal appeal to the ICC for permission. As per ICC directions, players can’t sport any commercial, religious or military logo. There was nothing commercial or religious in this regard as we all know,” Rai said.
“And it is not the paramilitary regimental dagger that is embossed in his gloves. So Dhoni has not violated ICC regulations,” he added.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s recent display of tribute to Indian soldiers during India’s opening ICC World Cup match gained limelight, not because India won it but because of Insignia gloves that were worn by the Indian wicketkeeper when India played against South Africa.
Social media platforms were buzzing with #DhoniKeepThe Glove hashtag as fans appreciated former Indian captain’s dedication towards the Indian forces.
However, the International Cricket Council (ICC) issued directions to the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) to ask Dhoni to remove the regimental dagger badge symbol from his gloves. ICC general manager Claire Furlong said BCCI has been ‘requested’ to get the symbol removed from Dhoni’s gloves.
ICC reiterating its regulation said its equipment and clothing regulations do not permit the display of messages that relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes during an international match.
Dhoni, as a tribute to Pulwama martyrs and other soldiers, wore the gloves and the fact that he was conferred an honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment in 2011 was enough to compel him to wear the gloves. Besides, he had also undergone training under the Para Brigade in 2015.
The CoA chief Vinod Rai said the para-regimental dagger logo has word ‘Balidan’ (sacrifice) inscribed on it, which is not the case with the logo sported by Dhoni.
The argument may not cut much ice with the ICC if it strictly goes by rules.
The CoA’s intervention comes after there was social media criticism of the ICC’s objections.
When asked how India would respond in case the ICC insists on the removal of the sign and sanctions Dhoni for resistance, Rai said, “I think there has been a request to get it removed and not an instruction.