London/Mumbai: Taking a firm stand, the ICC on Friday denied Mahendra Singh Dhoni permission to wear the dagger insignia on his wicket-keeping gloves during the World Cup despite BCCI’s assertion that it was not a military symbol.
The Indian cricket board (BCCI) had sought permission for the star batsman from the world governing body, which eventually cited regulations in denying the permission.
“The ICC has responded to the BCCI to confirm the logo displayed by MS Dhoni in the previous match is not permitted to be worn on his wicket-keeping gloves at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019,” an ICC statement said. But it cited no specific rule number.
“The regulations for ICC events do not permit any individual message or logo to be displayed on any items of clothing or equipment. In addition to this, the logo also breaches the regulations in relation to what is permitted on wicketkeeper gloves.”
As pointed out by Sirf News on 6 June, the ICC dress code for players has no specific rule debarring cricketers from wearing the logo of an army. But the international cricket body has classified the logo of the Territorial Army as an “individual message”.
During India’s opening World Cup game against South Africa in Southampton, Dhoni’s greenkeeping gloves had a dagger logo embossed, which looked more like an Army insignia.
The rule-book allows for only one sponsor’s logo on the wicket-keeping gloves. In Dhoni’s case, he already sports an SG logo on his gloves.
Dhoni is an Honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment of the Territorial Army and dagger is part of their emblem.
Committee of Administrator (CoA) chief Vinod Rai had argued that wearing the dagger insignia does not breach any rule.
“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. And it is not the paramilitary regimental dagger that is embossed in his gloves. So Dhoni is not in breach of ICC regulations,” Rai said.
Rai’s comment came after the ICC “requested the BCCI” to ask Dhoni to remove the sign from the gloves, citing rules which forbid the display of messages “which relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes.”
The CoA’s defence was 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.
Dhoni also got support from Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, who had urged the BCCI to resolve the matter.
“… the issue is connected with the sentiments of the country, the interest of the nation has to be kept in mind. I urge the BCCI to? take a fair step in the Mahendra Singh Dhoni? case,” Rijiju wrote in Hindi on his Twitter handle.
सरकार खेल निकायों के मामलों में हस्तक्षेप नहीं करती है, वे स्वायत्त हैं। लेकिन जब मुद्दा देश की भावनाओं से जुड़ा होता है, तो राष्ट्र के हित को ध्यान में रखना होता है। मैं बीसीसीआई से आग्रह करता हूँ की वह महेंद्र सिंह धोनी ग्लव्स मामला में उचित क़दम उठाए।
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) June 7, 2019
Various sportspersons such as Suresh Raina and decorated wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt also backed the former captain.
Commoners protested on social media, too.
This Is ICC For You.
No One From ICC Talked About Umpires. But They Are Tensed About Dhoni's Wicket Keeping Gloves ?#DhoniKeepTheGlove @msdhoni @ICC @BCCI @narendramodi @indianarm pic.twitter.com/YbkJEo32ap
— Abhishek Kumar Singh (@aksingh120497) June 7, 2019