With Indians across all paths of life coming out in support of former India skipper M.S. Dhoni after the International Cricket Council (ICC) asked him to remove the ‘Balidaan Badge from his wicketkeeping gloves, the Committee of Administrators (CoA) running Indian cricket have sent in a request to the ICC asking them to allow Dhoni to have the logo on his gloves.
During the CoA meeting in Mumbai on Friday one of the members said that an approval has been sought so that Dhoni can continue wearing the gloves.
“Yes, we are aware of the issue with Dhoni’s badge. But this isn’t any political or religious sentiment and we have requested the ICC to grant permission for Dhoni to sport the badge on his gloves,” the member told IANS.
An ICC official said that the council will consider the request if the BCCI convinces them that the “balidaan badge” does not have any political or religious message.
India’s opening game in the ongoing World Cup saw Dhoni once again profess his love for the security forces after he was spotted with regimental dagger insignia of the Indian Para Special Forces on his wicket-keeping gloves.
Speaking to IANS, Claire Furlong, ICC General Manager, Strategic Communications, had said that the BCCI had been asked to get the symbol removed from Dhoni’s gloves. “We have requested the BCCI to get it removed,” she had said on Thursday.
The Army insignia was spotted on Dhoni’s gloves as television replays showed him stumping Phehlukwayo in the 40th over of the innings bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal.
Balidaan is a distinct insignia of the special forces, which form part of the Parachute Regiment. It has a commando dagger pointed downwards, with upward-extending wings extending from the blade and a scroll superimposed on the blade with “Balidaan” inscribed in Devanagari. Only Paramilitary Commandos are allowed to wear the Balidaan Badge.
Dhoni, who has been conferred an honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment in 2011, had also undergone training under the Para Brigade in 2015.
Twitter though was abuzz with fans showing respect to Dhoni. One fan wrote: “Salute & respect to MS Dhoni who printed insignia of ‘Balidan’ on his wicket keeping gloves.” Another fan wrote: “This man shows his love for the nation and army. A Regimental Dragger(BALIDAN) of Indian Army Para Special Force on MS Dhoni Gloves. #IndianArmy #Balidan.”
But the ICC feels otherwise. The ICC regulations says: “The ICC 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.”
(Baidurjo Bhose can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)