As the controversy surrounding the ICC taking objection to former Team India captain MS Dhoni wearing the 'Balidaan Badge' of his Para regiment on his wicket-keeping gloves at the World Cup gets bigger, the sports fraternity in the country has come in support of Dhoni.
Speaking to Republic TV, Indian footballer Baichung Bhutia said that BCCI must fight for it.
"I don't think there is anything wrong, but as a sportsperson I know there are rules and regulations for every federetion so I think that has to be kept in mind also, though I think it is a great gesture for Dhoni to do that. However, if the law does not allow the ICC cricket to do that then I think he should not, because then if somebody is given that then tomorrow somebody else might come and say something else. If the ICC doesn't have any such law, then BCCI should support Dhoni and fight for it. BCCI should come out and allow Dhoni to wear it and come out and fight for it," said Bhutia who is often termed as the torchbearer of Indian football in the international arena.
Significantly, speaking to Republic TV, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said that he had been apprised of the matter and would look into it. Additionally, Pakistan made an uninvited entry into the controversy, with Imran Khan's spooked Science and Technology Minister replied to a Republic tweet and hit out:
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. The regimental dagger is the insignia of the Indian Para Special Forces, of which MS Dhoni is an honorary member.
India will next face Australia in the World Cup, in London, on Sunday.
Baichung Bhutia is a former Indian footballer from the state of Sikkim, who played as a striker. Bhutia is considered to be the torchbearer of Indian football in the international arena. He is often nicknamed the Sikkimese Sniper because of his shooting skills in football. Three-time Indian Player of the Year I. M. Vijayan described Bhutia as "God's gift to Indian football".