Even as the nation celebrated Team India’s first victory at the ongoing cricket world cup in England, a controversy sprung that nobody saw coming. ICC spotted an insignia on MS Dhoni’s keeping gloves. Bestowed with an honourary rank of a Lt. Colonel, this insignia was Dhoni’s idea of a tribute towards the armed forces. However, according to ICC regulations, no player is allowed to carry messages on equipment or clothing that might be political, racial or religious in nature.
Dhoni’s gesture towards the armed forces was admired by his fans and the general public. And so, when news came out that the ICC had requested the BCCI to replace the gloves, it split open Twitter. Some were of the opinion that it wasn’t particularly political and Dhoni had every right to show respect to his country’s armed forces. The other side conceded that if a regulation prohibited the players from doing this, then Dhoni’s defiance was probably a statement about the status on Indian cricket in the world. A hashtag #DhoniKeepTheGloves began to trend.
A similar incident had appeared when England’s Moeen Ali wore wristbands that said things like ‘Save Gaza’ and Free Palestine’. Match referee David Boon had pulled up Ali for it, and he was barred from wearing those wristbands during the test match.
Dhoni has initially refused to replace the gloves and sought approval from the ICC. The insignia stands for ‘balidaan’ (sacrifice). The former-captain has openly championed similar tributes, like when he convinced all his team-mates to wear camouflage caps during an ODI against Australia. This was done in rememberance of the military personnel killed in the Pulwama attack.