Indian wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was spotted donning a regimental dagger insignia (Balidan badge) of the Indian Para Special Forces during India's World Cup 2019 opening match against South Africa in Southampton, which was wholeheartedly welcomed by fans but also evolved to become a major controversy after ICC objected to it and asked BCCI to get it removed leading to a flurry of reactions from supporters of the former skipper.
As the news of ICC's objection against Dhoni's 'regimental dagger' glove broke out, his massive fanbase expressed support to the Indian wicketkeeper and urged him to play with the same gloves in upcoming matches.
Dhoni, as captain of the Indian team, had managed to take his team to great heights by winning the ICC World T20 (2007), ICC Cricket World Cup (2011), ICC Champions Trophy (2013) and number one position in Test ranking for 18 months starting December 2009.
His massive fanbase, including big celebrities, took to Twitter to express their support to the cricket stalwart.
Indian Army has always been independent irrespective of the political party in power. We are proud of them. Lt. Col. @msdhoni has worn the Army insignia as a symbol of pride. Doesn't hurt anyone's sentiments, In fact it honours the brave #DhoniKeepTheGlove #WorldCup2019— Riteish Deshmukh (@Riteishd) June 7, 2019
What do the ICC rules say?
ICC prohibits certain logos on clothing and equipment of sportspersons. ICC rulebook states that, "In particular, no Logo shall be permitted to be displayed on Cricket Clothing or Cricket Equipment, other than a National Logo, a Commercial Logo, an Event Logo, a Manufacturer's Logo, a Player's Bat Logo, a Charity Logo or a Non-Commercial Logo as provided in these Regulations."
According to Regulation D.1,
"no Logo shall be permitted to be displayed on Cricket Clothing or Cricket Equipment, other than a National Logo, a Commercial Logo, an Event Logo, a Manufacturer's Logo, a Player's Bat Logo, a Charity Logo or a Non-Commercial Logo as provided in these Regulations. In addition, where any Match official becomes aware of any clothing or equipment that does not comply with these Regulations, he shall be authorised to prevent the offending person from taking the field of play (or to order them from the field of play, if appropriate) until the non-compliant clothing or equipment is removed or appropriately covered up."
The regimental dagger on Dhoni's gloves falls under "Non-Commercial Logo". ICC rulebook defines a non-commercial logo as "an ICC Approved Personal Message, visible tattoo or other Logo, which is not a Manufacturer's Logo, Commercial Logo, Player's Bat Logo, Betting Logo, Event Logo, Charity Logo or National Logo."
Rule L states,
"In order for any Logo or Personal Message to be ICC Approved for use in any match or series of matches to which these Regulations apply, the party seeking approval must apply to ICC for the grant of such approval and such approval must have been granted in advance of the commencement of the match or series in question."
But legitimately wearing the gloves can be as simple as taking ICC's approval.
Rule G.1 further 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 the past as well, Indian cricket team was granted permission to wear camouflage caps during a one-day international against Australia in Ranchi in March 2019, when Kohli's squad paid tributes to Pulwama attack victims.
Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai on Friday said they have written to International Cricket Council (ICC) regarding the issue seeking permission from the cricket governing body.