Indian fans were hugely disappointed over ICC’s decision to have the ‘Balidaan Badge’ removed on MS Dhoni’s wicketkeeping gloves. #DhoniKeepTheGlove has been trending on social media ever since.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday to have the Army symbol removed from MS Dhoni’s gloves, according to ICC regulations. This created a huge debate on social media and fans didn’t back down from supporting the former captain of the Indian cricket team.
MS Dhoni was spotted wearing a pair of wicketkeeping gloves with a regimental dagger insignia of the Indian Para Special Forces during the World Cup 2019 opener against South Africa at Ageas Bowl in Southampton on the 5th of June. Pictures of the ‘Balidaan Sign’ on Dhoni’s gloves went viral on social media with many fans praising the World Cup winner for his love towards the Indian Para Special Forces.
However, the rules of the ICC clearly state that “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.” According to latest reports, the ICC had asked the BCCI to make sure MS Dhoni removes the Army insignia from his gloves.
The directive has certainly not gone down well with Indian fans, who have even urged the BCCI to boycott the World Cup if Dhoni is not allowed to continue wearing the special pair of gloves.
#DhoniKeepTheGlove” has been trending on several social media platforms ever since the ICC directed the BCCI to remove the Army crest.
But a different pair of gloves without the symbol, appeared to conform with ICC regulations when India fielded after making 352 for five batting first against world champions Australia at the Oval.
So, what really happens when the rules are breached? Claire Furlong, ICC general manager — strategic communications, said in a statement that “for first breach, just a request to remove” is sent, followed by penalty.
ICC rules say that, “where any match official becomes aware of any clothing or equipment that does not comply with the rules, he shall be authorised to prevent the offending person from taking the field of play (or to order them from the field of play, if appropriate) until the non-compliant clothing or equipment is removed or appropriately covered up.”
Something similar had also occurred when cricketer Sachin Tendulkar had to stop having the Indian flag below the BCCI logo on the helmet following the Department of Home Affairs citing the Flag Code of India. Many other cricketers were also asked to stop using the flag. One of the arguments made was that cricketers spit on the field where the helmet is kept and also, they keep their boots beside the helmets, thus disrespecting the national flag.