London, June 7: The Indian Cricket Team's practise session on Friday (June 7) was called off due to rain, leaving the Virat Kohli-led side with only one day to train ahead of Sunday's big-ticket World Cup showdown with Australia here.
India travelled to London from Southampton on Thursday (June 6), a day after beating South Africa by six wickets in their tournament opener. Rain had also forced India to cancel their optional practise on the eve of the game against South Africa at the Hampshire Bowl.
The two-time winners face a formidable opponent in defending champions Australia, who are on a 10-match winning streak, which began in India only where they overcame a 0-2 deficit to win the five-match series 3-2.
Australia enjoy a huge edge over India in the World Cup as they have defeated India 8 times and suffered defeat on just three times.
Meanwhile, a lot of action seems to be happening off the field as veteran India cricketer MS Dhoni's glove controversy. Dhoni will continue sporting the dagger insignia on his wicket-keeping gloves as it is not a military symbol, Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai asserted Friday amid the ICC evaluating a BCCI request seeking permission for it.
During India's opening World Cup game against South Africa in Southampton, Dhoni's green keeping gloves had a dagger logo embossed, which looked more like an Army insignia.
"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," Rai told PTI over phone. "And it is not the paramilitary regimental dagger that is embossed in his gloves. So Dhoni is not in breach of ICC regulations," he added.
His statement comes after the ICC "requested the BCCI" to ask Dhoni to remove the sign from the gloves, citing rules which forbid display of messages "which relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes."
It is learnt that following the BCCI's request, the ICC's Cricket Operations team will discuss the matter with the World Cup's Event Technical committee, both headed by Geoff Allardyce. The BCCI will be required to prove that the dagger insignia is not military symbolism and if the event technical committee is convinced, Dhoni would be allowed to continue sporting it.
Dhoni is an Honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment of the Territorial Army and dagger is part of their emblem. 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, however, may not cut much ice with the ICC if it strictly goes by rules. The CoA's intervention comes after social media criticism of the ICC's objections.
(With PTI inputs)