Team India’s opening game against South Africa in the ongoing world cup saw Indian legend Mahendra Singh Dhoni once again professing his love for the security forces as the regimental dagger insignia of the Indian Para Special Forces was spotted on his wicket keeping gloves. But this seems to have not gone well with the International Cricket Council (ICC). Reports suggest ICC asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to get the symbol removed from Dhoni’s gloves.
While Yuzvendra Chahal was bowling the fortieth over of the innings, television replays showed Dhoni stumping Phehlukwayo and the dagger was clearly visible on his gloves. It is called as the “Balidaan Badge” or the Army Insignia.
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 the Paramilitary Commandos are allowed to wear the Balidaan Badge.
Dhoni in 2011 has been conferred an honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment and has also undergone training under the Para Brigade in 2015.
Although Twitter was abuzz with fans showing respect to Dhoni by applauding the move by the former Indian skipper, the ICC feels otherwise.
Unless approved in advance by both, the player or team’s official’s Board and the ICC Cricket Operations Departments, players and team officials are allegedly not permitted to wear, display or otherwise convey messages through arm bands or other items affixed to clothing or equipment with ‘Personal Messages’. This is as per the ICC’s Clothing and Equipment Rules and Regulations, under G1. It also states that approvals shall not be granted for messages which relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes. The ICC shall have the final say in determining whether any such message is approved.