India star Mahendra Singh Dhoni could be heading for a standoff with the International Cricket Council over a dagger symbol on his wicket-keeping gloves.
During India’s opening match of the World Cup, against South Africa, Dhoni donned gloves featuring a white insignia associated with the army.
This attracted the attention of the governing body, which does not allow political or military adornments to playing kit, and Press Association Sport understands the Board of Control for Cricket in India were instructed to ensure the gloves did not make another appearance.
Dhoni is an honorary lieutenant colonel of the Indian territorial army and how he chooses to respond during Sunday’s game against Australia at The Oval will be key.
Should he continue to wear the gloves, he would be flouting regulations and would be open to disciplinary action. The ICC has yet to receive a formal response to its request and will be monitoring events with interest.
As it stands it appears the Indian position may be to query the ICC’s interpretation, with leading official Vinod Rai telling Press Trust of India the dagger was not a paramilitary reference.
“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.
“It is not the paramilitary regimental dagger that is embossed in his gloves so Dhoni is not in breach of ICC regulations.”
In a statement, the ICC said: “The ICC has responded to the BCCI to confirm the logo displayed by MS Dhoni in the previous match is not permitted to be worn on his wicket-keeping gloves at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.
“The regulations for ICC events do not permit any individual message or logo to be displayed on any items of clothing or equipment. In addition to this, the logo also breaches the regulations in relation to what is permitted on wicketkeeper gloves.”
The ICC granted permission for India to wear camouflage caps in a recent one-day international against Australia in Dhoni’s hometown of Ranchi. The caps were worn as part of a fundraising effort following a terror attack in Kashmir that killed 40 paramilitary police – an incident that led to a sharp spike in political tensions with Pakistan.
The teams play each other at Old Trafford on July 16, by which time the Dhoni issue must surely have been resolved.