Backing MS Dhoni's decision to wear the 'Balidaan' badge on his wicketkeeping gloves, Union Minister and former Army Chief Gen VK Singh, on Friday, has said that Dhoni has only displayed his love for the forces and that the ICC should understand that the gesture was not political/religious/racial but a matter of national pride.
Earlier in the day, Lt General (Retd) Vinod Bhatia,ex-DGMO in whose presence MS Dhoni was commissioned into Parachute Regiment of Territorial Army in 2011, too had shared a similar sentiment saying that there was nothing political/religious/commercial about the former Indian cricket captain sporting the 'Balidaan' badge on his gloves in support of his regiment.
Prior to this development, the BCCI had spoken to Republic TV sources saying that they had already written a letter to the ICC on seeking clearance for MS Dhoni to continue wearing the insignia badge on his gloves, with the Committee of Administrators chief Vinod Rai confirming the news.
"We have already written (to ICC to seek permission for MS Dhoni to wear 'Balidaan' insignia on his gloves), will speak more after the meeting (CoA meeting)," Rai said.
Following this, the apex cricket body- ICC's CEO Dave Richardson said that the ICC will consider the issue adding that it may or may not reconsider its stance even if Dhoni & BCCI convince their intention to the ICC, in conversation to Republic TV.
"There is a specific rule of ICC that clearly talks about the dress code. Clearly, this seems to be a violation. I am not commenting on what was Dhoni's intention but ICC may or may not reconsider its stand even if Dhoni & BCCI convince their intention," he said.
The entire controversy started when the International Cricket Council (ICC), on Thursday, requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to get the 'Balidaan' insignia removed from Indian cricketer and former Team India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's wicketkeeping gloves citing that the ICC official rules regarding equipment and clothing do not allow the show of political and religious messages during a match.
MS Dhoni was seen sporting the 'Balidaan Badge' or the regimental dagger insignia of the Indian Para Special Forces on his wicketkeeping gloves during the India vs South Africa World Cup match on Wednesday. The 'Balidaan Badge' was clearly spotted when the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman dismissed Andile Phehlukwayo in the 40th over of the South African innings in India’ first World Cup match on Wednesday.
Incidentally, MS Dhoni is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Para-Air troops on the Indian Army and belongs to the same regiment as the Para Special forces whose badge he is seen sporting.