London: Former Indian captain and wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was spotted wearing a regimental dagger insignia of the Indian Para Special Forces on his wicket-keeping gloves during the opening game against South Africa, has created a stir.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to get the symbol removed from Dhoni's gloves. The 'Balidaan badge' or the Army insignia caught the attention when television replays showed him stumping Phehlukwayo in the 40th over of the innings bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal.
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. Incidentally Paramilitary Commandos are allowed to wear this badge.
Interestingly, Dhoni was conferred the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel to Dhoni on November 2011. He is only the second Indian cricketer after Kapil Dev to receive this honour. Dhoni had trained at the Para jump school and even become a qualified Paratrooper in 2015.
Soon after the news of ICC asking Dhoni to remove the badge, fans began to tweet expressing their respect for Dhoni by stating Salute his love for the country.
Indian team had evoked criticism recently, when the entire team walked out to field in One-day match against Australia at Ranchi wearing camouflage caps as tribute to the loss of lives in the Pulwama terror attack and the armed forces.