A controversy has erupted after former Indian skipper M.S. Dhoni was seen sporting an Army insignia on his wicket-keeping gloves in the ongoing World Cup.
In India’s opening game against South Africa on Wednesday, Dhoni was spotted with the regimental dagger insignia known as the “Balidaan Badge” of the Indian Para Special Forces on his gloves.
The insignia was spotted as television replays showed him stumping Phehlukwayo in the 40th over of the innings bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal.
Following this, the International Cricket Council (ICC) asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to get the symbol removed from Dhoni’s gloves as it is against the regulations of the sports governing body.
Pakistan Minister Fawad Chaudhry also hit out at Dhoni, saying the Indian wicketkeeper-batsman is in England to play cricket and not for ‘Mahabharata’.
“Dhoni is in England to play cricket not for MahaBharta (sic), what an idiotic debate in Indian media, a section of the Indian media is so obsessed with war they should be sent to Syria, Afghanistan or Rawanda as mercenaries…. #Idiots,” tweeted Chaudhry, who is Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Science and Technology.
However, fans across India want Dhoni to keep wearing the gloves, tweeting with hashtag #DhoniKeepTheGlove.
One Twitter user said: “Sorry ICC. I stand with MS Dhoni. This Balidan symbol is nothing to do with cricket game.”
“Dear Lt Col MS Dhoni. You are an officer of Para Regt. Don’t take off those gloves. Balidaan is a badge of honour. It’s represents the finest of Indian Army. I have always looked at that badge with awe & respect. The nation stands with you,” said another user.
“You can remove the army things from Dhoni’s pad, cap, bat or Jersey. But you can’t remove Lt Colonel MS DHONI’s love for the nation from his heart. #DhoniKeepTheGlove,” said another user on the microblogging website.
One user posted: “Don’t worry Dhoni sir keep it up we are with you, If need then we can boycott ICC other matches, Salute you sir.”
“Dear BCCI if the ICC Forcing to remove balidan from Dhoni ji gloves, it’s better to boycott the tournament and come to India we will play another IPL series. We don’t want this tournament. We love our country pride more than a tournament.#boycottworldcup #DhoniKeepTheGlove,” wrote another user.
India will next play Australia in their second World Cup fixture on Sunday at the Kennington Oval. (ANI)