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Cricket World Cup 2019: CoA Request ICC to Allow Dhoni to Continue Sporting Army Insignia

Devadyuti Das |June 7, 2019, 8:12 PM IST
Cricket World Cup 2019: CoA Request ICC to Allow Dhoni to Continue Sporting Army Insignia

The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) have sent a request to the International Cricket Council (ICC) asking them to allow India wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to sport the regimental dagger insignia of the Indian Para Special Forces on his ’keeping gloves at the ICC World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.

After a day-long meeting in Mumbai on Friday, CoA members came to the decision that a letter asking permission from ICC will be sent.

“We are not going against any ICC rules. We are just requesting them to consider the matter since the rules say insignia worn by any player shouldn't have any religious, military, or commercial significance — which is not there in Dhoni’s case. We have asked the ICC if Dhoni can continue to sport this insignia on his gloves,” CoA member Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Ravi Thodge told CricketNext after the meeting on Friday.

“We took permission from ICC to sport camouflage caps during the India-Australia ODI series. If the rules state that we need to take permission in this case also, we’ll do the same again. We are not demanding anything, it’s just a request to ICC,” Thodge added.

ICC sources informed CricketNext that this matter will now be considered by the cricket operations team of the world body, headed by Geoff Allardyce. “The matter is with cricket operation team of ICC. BCCI has to convince them that it's not a political symbol,” ICC sources informed CricketNext.

“There will be no hearing in the matter. The ICC team will study BCCI’s request and if they are convinced that it's not a political message, they will allow Dhoni to continue sporting the badge,” the source added.

Former India women captain Diana Edulji, another member of the CoA, said that the board hadn’t spoken to the team or Dhoni about the matter but felt ICC should have no problem in accepting India’s request.

“It’s a routine matter for the ICC. When the players sported camouflage flag caps also we spoke to ICC and they had no problem in giving us the permission,” Edulji told the media in Mumbai after the CoA meeting.

“We’ll back Dhoni or any Indian player for that matter to the hilt. Dhoni is not a controversial person, he might have done inadvertently without seeking ICC permission. India’s second game is on Sunday, hopefully the matter should be resolved by then,” Edulji added.

Dhoni sported the ‘Balidan’ insignia on his glove in India’s first ICC World Cup game against South Africa on Wednesday.

Claire Furlong, ICC General Manager (Strategic Communications), on Thursday said that the apex body had requested the Indian cricket board to have the sign removed. India's next game is against Australia on Sunday.

“It is against the regulations and we have requested it is removed,” Furlong told PTI.

When asked if Dhoni, who is an Honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment of Territorial Army, could be penalised for the breach of an ICC regulation, she added: “For first breach no, just a request to remove.”

India's sports minister Kiren Rijiju also backed BCCI's stand on the issue. "The government doesn't intervene in affairs of sports bodies. But when the issue is related to the country's sentiments, then the interest of the nation has to be kept in mind. I would like to request BCCI to take up the matter with ICC," Rijiju said.

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.

As per ICC's Clothing and Equipment Rules and Regulations, under G1, "Players and team officials shall not be permitted to wear, display or otherwise convey messages through arm bands or other items affixed to clothing or equipment (“Personal Messages”) unless approved in advance by both the player or team official’s Board and the ICC Cricket Operations Department. Approval shall not be granted for messages which relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes. The ICC shall have the final say in determining whether any such message is approved. For the avoidance of doubt, where a message is approved by the player or team official’s Board but subsequently disapproved by the ICC’s Cricket Operations Department, the player or team official shall not be permitted to wear, display or otherwise convey such message in International Matches.”

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4 3 0 1 7 +2.16
4 3 0 1 7 +1.02
4 3 1 0 6 +1.55
5 2 2 1 5 -0.27
5 1 2 2 4 -1.77
5 1 3 1 3 +0.27
5 1 3 1 3 -0.20
5 1 3 1 3 -1.93
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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1 England 5720 124
2 India 5990 122
3 New Zealand 4121 114
4 South Africa 4647 111
5 Australia 4805 109
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1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
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