India’s opening game in the ongoing World Cup saw former skipper M.S. Dhoni once again profess his love for the security forces after he was spotted with regimental dagger insignia of the Indian Para Special Forces on his wicket-keeping gloves. But the International Cricket Council (ICC) has asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) top get the symbol removed from Dhoni’s gloves.
Claire Furlong, ICC General Manager, Strategic Communications, said that the BCCI has been asked to get the symbol removed from Dhoni’s gloves. “We have requested the BCCI to get it removed,” she said.
The “Balidaan Badge” or the Army insignia was spotted on Dhoni’s gloves as television replays showed him stumping Phehlukwayo in the 40th over of the innings bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal.
Balidaan is a distinct insignia of the special forces, which form part of the Parachute Regiment. It has a commando dagger pointed downwards, with upward-extending wings extending from the blade and a scroll superimposed on the blade with “Balidaan” inscribed in Devanagari. Only Paramilitary Commandos are allowed to wear the Balidaan Badge.
Dhoni, who has been conferred an honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment in 2011, had also undergone training under the Para Brigade in 2015.
Twitter though was abuzz with fans showing respect to Dhoni. One fan wrote: “Salute & respect to MS Dhoni who printed insignia of ‘Balidan’ on his wicket keeping gloves.” Another fan wrote: “This man shows his love for the nation and army. A Regimental Dragger(BALIDAN) of Indian Army Para Special Force on MS Dhoni Gloves. #IndianArmy #Balidan.”
But the ICC feels otherwise. The ICC regulations says: “The ICC 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.”