The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday came out in support of MS Dhoni over the issue of 'Balidaan Badge' or regimental dagger insignia of the Indian Para Special Forces on his wicket-keeping gloves. Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai said that former Indian skipper MS Dhoni will continue wearing the dagger insignia on his keeping gloves as it was not a military symbol.
Rai said that the BCCI has already written to the International Cricket Council (ICC), seeking formal permission to allow Dhoni to continue wearing the symbol on his wicket-keeping gloves.
"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," news agency PTI quoted Rai as saying.
The CoA chief added that the symbol on Dhoni’s gloves was not the paramilitary regimental dagger, therefor, he didn’t breach the ICC regulations. "….it is not the paramilitary regimental dagger that is embossed in his gloves. So Dhoni is not in breach of ICC regulations," Rai said.
According to ANI news agency, citing ICC sources, the highest body for cricket has been briefed by the BCCI and Dhoni himself that the symbol doesn't carry any political, religious or recial message and it was likely to consider the request to allow the cricketer to wear the sign.
During India's first ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 mathc against South Africa in Southampton, Dhoni's olive green keeping gloves had a dagger logo embossed, which looked more like an Army insignia. The ICC took offense of that and requested the BCCI to ask Dhoni to remove the sign from his gloves, citing rules which forbid display of messages related to "political, religious or racial activities or causes."
However, millions of fans backed the former Indian skipper for silently paying tributes to the Indian para special forces for their sacrifice by wearing the symbol and slammed the ICC for asking him to remove the sign.
The relationship between Dhoni and the Indian army is deep and it goes back close to a decade. In 2011, Dhoni was conferred with the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment of the Indian Army. In 2015 and 2017, Dhoni was seen undergoing some training sessions in Kashmir with the Indian army officers.