Following the furore over the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) decision asking the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to take Mahendra Singh Dhoni's 'Balidaan Badge' off his wicketkeeping gloves which has been challenged by a nation-wide campaign backing the World Cup 2011-winning skipper, now, Olympic medal-winning wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt has also now offered his complete backing.
"Dhoni has done a very noble deed by standing up for the Army. The nation is proud of him . The BCCI should also support Dhoni for he has done nothing wrong. The nation stands with him," said the Indian freestyle wrestler.
Dhoni had sported 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, following which the ICC in view of the official rules regarding equipment and clothing that do not allow the show of political and religious messages during a match, requested the BCCI to implement a ban.
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.
Prompted by his love for the Indian Army, Dhoni who had undergone training for a brief period with the para regiment and given an honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel, earlier this year wore an Army cap during the ODI match against Australia at Ranchi as a tribute to the CRPF personnel who lost their lives in the February 14 Pulwama terror attack.
Even at that time, the Pakistan Cricket Board had objected to it and even approached the ICC against it. The ICC had then responded that Team India had taken prior permission ahead of their gesture.
The ICC seeking to remove the 'Balidaan Badge' has triggered a major outcry, with support coming in country-wide for him to keep on the insignia.
From an Army Veterans' perspective, Major General (Retd) GD Bakshi spoke to Republic Media Network on the matter saying that no one has the right to ask MS Dhoni to remove the Badge as he is still an officer of the Territorial Army.
Major Gaurav Arya said:
The sports legends not too far behind in expressing their solidarity towards their former captain. Sreesanth and Former captain of the Indian Football team Bhaichung Bhutia came out in support too.