Symbols that have inherent messages are prohibited at Global sporting events . Is Dhoni a candidate so such sanctions? A huge and frankly unnecessary conflict has erupted over a symbol on the wicket-keeping gloves of Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni at the ongoing Cricket World Cup taking place in England. The symbol is adapted from that of the Parachute Regiment of the Indian Territorial Army where Dhoni is an Honorary Colonel. The former Indian Captain, who had lifted the World Cup when it took place in India and Sri Lanka back in 2011, is a bonafide legend of the sport and talks fondly of his association with the Territorial Army, who are the reserves for the armed forces. The logo on his gloves, that of a “winged dagger”, is possibly meant to signify his appreciation of the forces although it omits the ‘Balidaan’ (sacrifice) logo. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has deemed this logo as inappropriate and has asked Dhoni to remove it.
Almost every major global sporting event prevents the display of messages that have a political, religious or racist connotation on them. Several footballers have fallen foul of this ruling. Previously, English spinner Moeen Ali had been reprimanded for wearing a pro-Palestinian logo. However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has made it very clear that it will support Dhoni, claiming that the logo is not a complete replica of the Regimental logo. In these hyper-nationalistic times, this is really not a battle the ICC wants to take on, given that an overwhelming bulk of its revenue comes from India.
And for athletes to honour their armed forces is nothing new, most American sporting events have strong identification with their military but playing the Devil’s Advocate, the ICC has a point. Where can such logos stop? What if during the India-Pakistan match both sides go overboard? Maybe the ICC and BCCI can reach a happy compromise. Going forward, all Indian cricketers and athletes should take permission before they display any symbols on their uniforms or bodies to prevent such furores.
Writer & Courtesy: The Pioneer