Dehradun, June 8: The Indian Army would not intervene in the row which has erupted between the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) and the International Cricket Council (ICC) over the gloves used by MS Dhoni in India's opening bout against South Africa in ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The gloves bore a logo resembling the 'Balidan' insignia used by Special Para Commandos.
Lieutenant General Cherish Mathson, General Officer Commander-in-Chief of South Western Command, said the Army "is not involved" in the controversy, adding that it is Dhoni's "personal choice" to wear gloves bearing a logo which is similar to the insignia of the forces. Dhoni Directed to Remove 'Balidaan Badge' from Wicket-Keeping Gloves.
"The ICC is also acting according to its rules," he said, not putting the onus on the cricketing body for the row which erupted. The remarks were made by Lt Gen Mathson on sidelines of the passing out parade of Indian Military Academy in Dehradun on Saturday.
Notably, the ICC on Friday rejected BCCI's request seeking permission for Dhoni to wear the gloves bearing the Balidan insignia.
"The ICC has responded to the BCCI to confirm the logo displayed by MS Dhoni in the previous match is not permitted to be worn on his wicket-keeping gloves at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019," an ICC statement said.
"The regulations for ICC events do not permit any individual message or logo to be displayed on any items of clothing or equipment. In addition to this, the logo also breaches the regulations in relation to what is permitted on wicket keeper gloves."
The rule-book allows for only one sponsor's logo on the wicket-keeping gloves. In Dhoni's case, he already sports an SG logo on his gloves.
Dhoni is an Honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment of the Territorial Army and dagger is part of their emblem. Committee of Administrator (CoA) chief Vinod Rai had argued that wearing the dagger insignia does not breach any rule.
"As per ICC regulations, players can't sport any commercial, religious or military logo. There was nothing commercial or religious in this regard as we all know. And it is not the paramilitary regimental dagger that is embossed in his gloves. So Dhoni is not in breach of ICC regulations," Rai said.
Rai's comment came after the ICC "requested the BCCI" to ask Dhoni to remove the sign from the gloves, citing rules which forbid display of messages "which relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes."
The CoA's defence was based on the fact that the para-regimental dagger logo has word 'Balidan' (sacrifice) inscribed on it, which is not the case with the logo sported by Dhoni.
Dhoni also got support from Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, who had urged the BCCI to resolve the matter. "... the issue is connected with the sentiments of the country, the interest of the nation has to be kept in mind. I urge the BCCI to take a fair step in the Mahendra Singh Dhoni's case," Rijiju wrote on his Twitter handle.
(With PTI inputs)