The International Cricket Council (ICC) has deemed the military badge inscribed on MS Dhoni’s wicketkeeping gloves to be in violation of its regulations, PTI reported.
The apex cricketing body has thus requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to remove the dagger badge imprinted on the gloves donned by Dhoni during his team’s six-wicket win over South Africa on Wednesday.
Dhoni is an honorary lieutenant colonel in the Parachute Regiment of the Indian Territorial Army and the dagger sign is the emblem of the regiment.
Claire Furlong, ICC General Manager – Strategic Communications, emphasized Dhoni’s gloves were in contrary to the rules and regulations which allow only the manufacturer’s logo to be placed on cricketing equipment.
"It is against the regulations and we have requested it is removed," she said.
Furlong added that since this was a first breach, no further action would be taken as long as BCCI complies with ICC’s request for the remainder of the World Cup.
Vinod Rai, chairman of BCCI’s Committee of Administrators, has responded to the controversy by terming the incident as a ‘non-issue’.
He asked the ICC to show some flexibility in their rules since the military insignia does not make a political, religious or racial statement.
"If there is a specific norm that has to be followed, we will not break that norm. However, if there is any flexibility available, we have sought permission for the ICC to allow the player to wear the gloves," Rai told ESPNCricinfo.
“[It is] neither political, nor commercial, nor military. And it is not the paramilitary regimental dagger that is embossed on his gloves," he said. "I am told ICC has specific rules pertaining to the logos on the gloves of the wicketkeeper. If there is rule as specific as that we will 100% conform to the ICC rules. We don't propose to escalate this non-issue."
Dhoni's gesture has generated widespread support from fans back home. Social media has been rife with comments supporting the former captain for his distinct way of paying tribute to the country’s security forces.
The Indian team, earlier this year in March, wore camouflage-style army caps during an ODI game against Australia to signal respect to the 40 paramilitaries who lost their lives in Pulwama terror attack in February.
This step had prompted criticism from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), who had called upon the ICC to punish the BCCI for bringing politics into sport. However, ICC clarified that it had permitted the Indian team to pay tribute to their armed forces.
England all-rounder Moeen Ali was warned and disallowed by the ICC to wear wristbands bearing the slogans “Free Palestine” and “Save Gaza” during a Test match against India in 2014, amidst the conflict in Gaza.