The controversy over International Cricket Council (ICC) directing former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to remove the 'Balidaan' badge from his glove has taken a new turn. Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) has written to ICC requesting the latter organisation to let MSD continue sporting the insignia on his glove.
Vinod Rai, chief of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) that is currently heading the BCCI, informed media persons of this latest development. "We have already written (to ICC) to seek permission for MS Dhoni to wear 'Balidaan' insignia on his gloves, will speak more after the (CoA) meeting," Rai was quoted as saying by the ANI.
The Balidaan insignia is the symbol of Indian Army's Para Special Force, a reserve unit, of which Dhoni has been made the honorary member. Currently, the wicket-keeper batsman holds the honorary rank of a Lt Colonel and has often shown his respect for the organisation through various gestures.
Earlier in the year, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had complained to ICC over the Indian team donning military style camouflage caps during an ODI against Australia. At that time, the Indian board responded by informing everyone that prior permission had been taken by them from cricket's governing body before going ahead with the gesture.
The rules of ICC
The reason for all this controversy is section G1 under the Clothing and Equipment category of ICC rules which prohibits cricketers from sporting logos or symbols conveying non-cricketing messages. It states: '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.'
In 2014, during the Test series between India and England in the latter country, Moeen Ali had come out to bat with a wristband displaying the words 'Save Gaza' and 'Free Palestine.' The ICC, through its match referee David Boon, asked Ali not to continue wearing these particular wristbands.