Indian cricketer MS Dhoni’s glove has become an issue after it was brought to the notice of the ICC. There is nothing aggressive or hostile in the intent over wearing a talisman, and it is no different from what players wear around their necks, and often kiss for luck when they begin to bat or bowl.
I have a blazer with buttons of silver crested with the insignia of the 8th Light Cavalry, my father’s regiment. Growing up in these confines and belonging to a family that has four brothers all Generals in the same corps, our lives were all about symbols and crests and emblems and that is what the armed forces is about. Pride in belonging. From tie pins to cufflinks to badges of honour, this is what the spirit de corps is made up of and this is why the regiment battle cry is so vital.
Clearly, the ICC has not figured out that Dhoni is an officer in the Territorial Army with the rank of Colonel and his right to wear the insignia given to him by any batallion, squadron or naval entity is within his rights.
Furthermore, the Indian armed forces are an integral part of the country and their accoutrements as valid for morale and luck and belief as any. If the ICC can parade its symbol around, how can there be any law stopping Dhoni from wearing the "Balidaan Badge" on his gloves as a tribute to the fighting men and women in our land.
To capitulate now and give in to the ICC not only rubs egg on the face of the all-so-powerful BCCI, recently dubbed by American comedian and political commentator Hasan Minhaj as the sun around which the ICC rotates, but is also a huge insult to our armed forces, in general, and the paramilitary, in particular.
At some stage, we have to say, enough is enough and not always hide behind the fact that surrender is for the better of the game. For once, the hell with the game. If it is Dhoni’s good luck charm or an equivalent of the rabbit’s foot, who is the ICC to deny him the right to wear it.
If the team is forced to give in, it will be a great loss and clearly mess with the team. To rob a sportsman of his/her comfort zone in what is a harmless indulgence, is to maliciously ruin their performance capability.
The ICC is hiding under the rules which say: "equipment and clothing regulations do not permit the display of messages that relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes during an international match".
How does a regiment's crest qualify under this law?
Dhoni has to make a decision on his own if the BCCI turns cowardly, which it might. And if some silly technical reason is brought up to justify the decision by the ICC like permission was not given or sought, that is a mockery in itself. Then the same yardstick should be used to denude every player of his wristband, his neck jewelry, his taveez, his amulet, his mascot and his religious adornment. There is no difference.
The insignia has no overt military message. There is no wordage, nothing that anyone can be offended by unless they wish to create trouble only for the sake of creating trouble.
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Updated Date: Jun 07, 2019 19:51:02 IST