ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Former India skipper MS Dhoni sporting the Army’s Insignia has stirred controversy. He was spotted donning the ‘Balidaan’ badge during India’s ICC World Cup 2019 opener against South Africa. According to ICC, he did not take prior permission and hence has urged BCCI to ask him not to wear it anymore during the tournament. While Indian fans are backing Dhoni asking him to not take it off, there is also a section which feels it is the ICC’s call and BCCI should respect it. Sports minister Kiren Rijiju is the latest to bat for the former India skipper. “The government does not interfere in the affairs of sports bodies, they are autonomous. But when the issue is connected with the sentiments of the country, the interest of the nation has to be kept in mind. I urge the BCCI to ‍ take a fair step in the Mahendra Singh Dhoni ‍ case,” his post in Hindi read.

Meanwhile, Mahendra Singh Dhoni will continue wearing the dagger insignia on his wicket-keeping gloves as it is not a military symbol, Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai asserted Friday, saying that the BCCI has sought the ICC’s permission for it. During India’s opening World Cup game against South Africa in Southampton, Dhoni’s wicketkeeping gloves had a dagger logo embossed, which looked more like an Army insignia.

“The BCCI had already sent a formal request to the ICC for clearance. As per ICC regulations, players can’t sport any commercial, religious or military logo. There was nothing commercial or religious in this regard as we all know,” Rai told PTI over phone.

“And it is not the paramilitary regimental dagger that is embossed in his gloves. So Dhoni is not in breach of ICC regulations,” he added.