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BCCI, sporting fraternity back MS Dhoni as ICC asks to remove 'Balidaan Badge' from his gloves

New Delhi, June 7: A massive uproar has kicked off in India after the ICC raised its objection to veteran India cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni sporting Army insignia on his gloves in the ongoing ICC World Cup 2019 in England.

Dhoni was applauded on the social media for showing his love for armed forces by sporting the Para Forces' 'Balidaan Badge' on his gloves during the game against South Africa in Team India's opening game in Southampton.

But the ICC raised it's objection to Dhoni's show of love towards the armed forces and asked the BCCI to direct the cricketer to remove the badge's logo.

Claire Furlong, ICC General Manager - Strategic Communications, told PTI that the apex body has requested the Indian cricket board to have the sign removed. India's next game is against Australia on Sunday (June 9). "It is against the regulations and we have requested it is removed," Furlong told PTI.

However, the BCCI, Sports Minstry as well as the Indian cricketers have come out in support of the former India captain.

The 'Balidaan Badge' is symbol comprising 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 army insignia and Dhoni being an honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment, who also went through training under the Para Brigade in 2015, proudly flaunts it.

Pakistan Minister criticises Dhoni

Fawad Chaudhry, Pakistan's Federal Minister for Science and Technology slammed Dhoni by expressing his rage through twitter.

"Dhoni is in England to play cricket not to for MahaBharta, what an idiotic debate in Indian Media, a section of Indian media is so obsessed with War they should be sent to Syria, Afghanistan Or Rawanda as mercenaries," Fawad Chaudhry tweeted.

BCCI's response to ICC:

BCCI's response to ICC:

Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai has backed Dhoni and informed the global cricketing body that the insignia is neither religious nor commercial.

Rai told PTI, "The BCCI had already sent a formal request to the ICC for clearance. As per ICC regulations, players can't sport any commercial, religious or military logo. There was nothing commercial or religious in this regard as we all know."

The CoA chief's defence is based on the fact that 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.

Rai also said, "And it is not the paramilitary regimental dagger that is embossed in his gloves. So Dhoni is not in breach of ICC regulations."

He further added, "As far as we are concerned, the BCCI CEO (Rahul Johri) will be reaching there before the Australia game and will be speaking to the senior ICC officials."

Indian Sports Ministry's response:

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said, "Government doesn't intervene in affairs of sports bodies, they are autonomous. But when issue is related to country's sentiments, then interest of the nation has to be kept in mind. I would like to request BCCI to take up the matter with the ICC."

Suresh Raina backs Dhoni

India cricketer and Dhoni's deputy in IPL team Chennai Super Kings, Suresh Raina, has come out in support of the 37-year-old cricketer and tweeted, "While we are on the field, we devote ourselves to our country & we give all we can to make India proud. We all love our country & that's exactly @msdhoni has done, saluting the sacrifices of our heroes & honouring them. It should be taken as an act of patriotism & not nationalism."

Veteran politician Subramanian Swamy has this advice for Dhoni

Veteran BJP parliamentarian tweeted, "My unasked for advice to Dhoni: You lose nothing by agreeing to ICC Rules no matter how intrusive it is. Terminate the controversy which nothing to with your awe inspiring cricket. Anti Indian forces would like this controversy to grow."

Former Sports Minister Ajay Maken backs Dhoni

Ajay Maken tweeted, ".@KirenRijiju ji, As a former Sports Minister,may I request you to kindly intervene & let #DhoniKeepTheGlove 'ICC regulations do not permit messages relating to POLITICAL,RELIGIOUS or RACIAL activities/causes' THUS Insignia on Dhoni's gloves do not violate the ICC regulations!"

Hima Das comes in support of Dhoni

Indian athlete Hima Das also came in support of the former India captain and backed him.

Actor Riteish Deshmukh backs Dhoni

"Indian Army has always been independent irrespective of the political party in power. We are proud of them. Lt. Col. @msdhoni has worn the Army insignia as a symbol of pride. Doesn't hurt anyone's sentiments, In fact it honours the brave #DhoniKeepTheGlove #WorldCup2019," tweeted the actor.

Dhoni sticks to his guns

This tweet from a senior journalist hints that Dhoni has cleared that he will not remove the logo from his gloves.

Yogeshwar Dutt backs Dhoni

Yogeshwar Dutt backs Dhoni

Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, who won two gold medals at the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games, said removing the logo will be an insult to the Indian Army.

"The demand for the removal of this badge #ICC is not only an insult to the sacrifices of the Indian Army but the Indian Army. We all have fellow countrymen with Dhoni. #DhoniKeepTheGlove @msdhoni @ICC @BCCI," he wrote.

RP Singh backs Dhoni

RP Singh, too, was left bemused by the ICC's stance on the issue. "Tough for me to understand how @msdhoni's on field gesture on his glove is a problem to @ICC. His fans have taken inspiration out of it and he himself is a respected Lt.Col, really strange.#MSDhoni," he wrote.

Bhaichung Bhutia has a contrasting opinion

Bhaichung Bhutia has a contrasting opinion

Former India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia, however, believes Dhoni should remove the logo and follow the rules. "A player should go by the rules and regulations. If it's against that, then Dhoni will have to remove it," Bhutia told a TV channel.

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Story first published: Friday, June 7, 2019, 17:20 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 7, 2019
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