Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on Wednesday slammed Mahendra Singh Dhoni for sporting a regimental dagger insignia of the Indian Para Special Forces on his wicketkeeping gloves during the 2019 World Cup match against South Africa.
According to Chaudhry, Dhoni is in England to play cricket and not MahaBharta. Chaudhry didn’t stop there as he also targetted a section of the Indian media for propagating war.
“Dhoni is in England to play cricket not to for MahaBharta, what an idiotic debate in Indian Media, a section of Indian media is so obsessed with War they should be sent to Syria, Afghanistan Or Rawanda as mercenaries,” Fawad Chaudhry tweeted.
Following a furore, the International Cricket Council was quick to ask the Board of Control for Cricket in India [BCCI] to instruct Dhoni to remove the badge from his gloves.
Claire Furlong, ICC General Manager, Strategic Communications, said that the BCCI has been asked to get the symbol removed from Dhoni’s gloves. “We have requested the BCCI to get it removed,” she said.
The “Balidaan Badge” or the Army insignia was spotted on Dhoni’s gloves as television replays showed him stumping Phehlukwayo in the 40th over of the innings bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal.
Balidaan is a distinct insignia of the special forces, which form part of the Parachute Regiment. It has a commando dagger pointed downwards, with upward-extending wings extending from the blade and a scroll superimposed on the blade with “Balidaan” inscribed in Devanagari. Only Paramilitary Commandos are allowed to wear the Balidaan Badge.
Dhoni, who has been conferred an honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment in 2011, had also undergone training under the Para Brigade in 2015.
But the ICC feels otherwise. The ICC regulations say: “The ICC equipment and clothing regulations do not permit the display of messages that relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes during an international match.”