Reacting to the ICC's objection to former Team India skipper MS Dhoni's 'Balidaan badge' displayed on his green gloves during the World Cup match versus South Africa, Major Gaurav Arya, on Thursday, has said that that the 'Balidaan' badge worn by Dhoni not political or religious - which the ICC's norms disallow - but was a tribute to the sacrifice of the special forces of the para-regiment to which Dhoni himself belongs.
"This is neither political nor religious. MS Dhoni is actually Lieutenant Colonel Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He is part of the Territorial Army and the Para regiment. He has done training as a paratrooper along with the para-brigade in Agra. He was attached to 5-Para and was staying in their mess. So Dhoni is wearing the insignia of the regiment of which he is a part," he added.
He also added enemy nations might have complained about the issue as he did not think that ICC may be aware of the entire issue.
"I do not think ICC even knows about the issue. I think Pakistan or some other nation has complained to ICC," Major Arya said.
Talking about what India's official stance to the whole situation should be, he said that the badge was a matter of pride and if the objection was just a matter of formality, then BCCI should write to ICC and seek permission for MS Dhoni to continue to wear the gloves.
"India's answer to ICC should be that Dhoni has worn an insignia of his regiment. This insignia displayed on shirts or cars is a matter of pride. Dhoni is a part of the para-Air forces, but a part of the same regiment. If it is a matter of only writing to the ICC, then let's do it and get permission. It is just a matter of documentation where Lieutenant Colonel Dhoni has not sought permission to wear the badge. Request BCCI to write a letter, but I salute MS Dhoni for wearing the badge," he said.
Earlier, the International Cricket Council (ICC) had requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to make MS Dhoni remove his wicketkeeping gloves sporting the 'Balidaan Badge' or the regimental dagger insignia of the Indian Para Special Forces, which he wore 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. The regimental dagger is the insignia of the Indian Para Special Forces.