The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to ensure that Mahendra Singh Dhoni takes off the 'Balidaan Badge' or the regimental dagger insignia of the Indian Para Special Forces on his wicketkeeping gloves during the World Cup.
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 and an officer is asked to remove the insignia only when is court-martialled by the Forces.
"As Major Gaurav Arya (also on the panel) very correctly pointed out that Dhoni is not just a civilian, he is an officer in the Territorial Army in the Parachute Regiment and it is a regiment accoutrement, he has every right to wear it, he has every right to wear it, and I don't think anybody can order that badge off as that amounts to court martialing the man and throwing him out of his regiment. It is a matter of honour, it is a Balidaan Badge. It is being asked what is political about it? The rules of ICC generally pertains to the logos of commercial outfit, those are not permitted as payments are involved, as sometimes they pay to put their logos and keep out the logos of their rivals," he said.
He also said that Indian forces will be offended if Dhoni is made to remove the Badge.
"I would have expected that when a country like Great Britain which has such strong regimental traditions would absolutely understand that when an officer belongs to a particular regiment he is duty bound to wear its badges and its accoutrement with pride. It is not just a symbol, it is a symbol that has been borne out of a lot of pain and suffering and the sacrifices of the unit. This badge, I am afraid cannot be trifled with, if they have forgotten their regiment tradition they need to be reminded. If the Australian team can wear black armbands, we can wear regimental accoutrements. I don't think it offends anyone in any way, in fact, you will offend soldiers if he is made to remove it," he added.
According to reports, the decision by the ICC to refrain Dhoni from wearing the Badge was prompted by its official rules regarding equipment and clothing that do not allow the show of political and religious messages during a match.
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.
In 2011, Dhoni was given an honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel and he has undergone training for a brief period with the para regiment. During the course of his training in Agra, Dhoni is believed to have done five parachute jumps during the training period.