Chris Gayle was denied permission to use the 'Universe Boss' logo on his bat by the ICC. (Image credit: Twitter)
MS Dhoni was at the centre of a major controversy in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 when he was spotted wearing an Army insignia on his keeping gloves during the Indian cricket team’s clash against South Africa at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. The ICC stated that Dhoni would not be allowed to sport the gloves which had the symbol and this resulted in furore from the Indian public and from politicians. However, before Dhoni, a report has emerged that the International Cricket Council had rejected permission to West Indies dasher Chris Gayle to use 'Universe Boss' logo on his bat.
In both cases, the ICC cited equipment regulation violation. Gayle, a self-proclaimed 'Universe Boss', had requested the ICC to allow him to use it for his bat branding but he was informed that he can't use any clothing or sporting equipment for personal messages. An unnamed official told PTI on conditions of anonymity that there was no exception made for either Dhoni or Gayle.
“ICC couldn't have made an exception for Dhoni as no personal messages are allowed on equipment. Gayle wanted it but when he was refused permission, he accepted it and moved on. It is not about military symbolism. It is about a simple rule that no personal messages are allowed. If ICC did not make an exception for Gayle, then how come they would make it for Dhoni. Tomorrow, Moeen Ali will again request for wearing a 'Free Palestine' wristband which is a direct political message. We did not allow it then and we won't allow it now. You won't be even allowed to have a word like ‘love' embossed on the equipment,” the source said.
The ICC statement on clothing and regulations state, “The regulations do not permit the display of messages that relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes during an international game.”
The regulations on Insignia is very important in this context. The ICC clearly states, “Any insignia worn by any player shouldn't have any religious, military, or commercial significance.”