BCCI backs MS Dhoni in 'balidaan' insignia row; ICC may refer it to technical committee

BCCI's CoA chief Vinod Rai, however, added that the Board will take permission from the ICC in case it is required.

NEW DELHI: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has come out in support of former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on the issue of the latter sporting 'Balidaan Badge' or regimental dagger insignia of the Indian Para Special Forces on his wicket-keeping gloves, which the International Cricket Council (ICC) wants him to remove.

Speaking to ANI, Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai said, ''The ICC rules say any insignia worn by any player shouldn't have any religious, military, or commercial significance. In this case, the insignia has none of those connotations. So we're going to tell ICC it need not be removed.''

Rai, however, added that the Board will take permission from the ICC in case it is required.

''In any case, if they feel, we'll take permission as we took in case of camouflage caps because we believe in conforming to norms of the game. If the ICC has a set of norms, we'll go with the norms,'' Rai added.

According to sources, the Board has communicated to the ICC that it stands with Dhoni in the insignia row.


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Meanwhile, the Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman, Rajeev Shukla also backed Dhoni on the issue, saying that the former skipper had not violated any norm of the ICC by sporting the badge.

“There is no commercial, religious or political promotion. All three provisions that the ICC has mentioned are not being violated by Dhoni,'' the IPL chief said.

He further said that the move by the CoA to request ICC to let Dhoni wear the badge “is the right approach”.

“This is in no way benefitting Dhoni financially,” Shukla said.

Reacting to the development, ICC Strategic Communications General Manager Claire Furlong said, "As of now, I do not know. It would need to be considered by the ICC."

The ICC has, meanwhile, received BCCI's request in this regard. It will now be taken up by ICC's Cricket Committee Operations team which will consult with Event Technical committee headed by Geoff Allardyce. 

The BCCI will need to prove how the dagger insignia is not military symbolism. If the event technical committee is convinced only then Dhoni can wear his gloves in future matches, reports said.

The ICC is likely to refer matter to a technical committee comprising Dave Richardson Sangakkara Steve Elworthy etc.

ICC's Claire Furlong had on Thursday confirmed that the international cricketing body had asked the BCCI “to get the symbol removed”.

The "Balidaan Badge" or the 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 against South Africa in the ICC World Cup 2019.

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.

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