Indians have rallied behind cricketer MS Dhoni after the International Cricket Council asked him to remove a military insignia from his wicket-keeping gloves during the World Cup.
Dhoni, who is a member of a reserve force called the Territorial Army in India, sports the logo of the special forces on his gloves.
The ICC says this flouts regulations, but added he would face no penalty.
India’s cricketing body has said that Dhoni will not comply with the order.
A senior official of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) told the PTI news agency that it had sent a formal request to the ICC asking for clearance for Dhoni to keep wearing the gloves, adding that he would continue to wear them anyway.
But the ICC responded by reaffirming its stance that the insignia could not be on the gloves at the World Cup.
It said regulations for ICC events did not permit messages to be shown on clothing or equipment and added that the logo also breached regulations about what was permitted on wicketkeeper gloves.
The logo, which depicts a commando dagger, is known as the Balidaan (sacrifice) badge in India. When he wore the gloves for India’s opening match against South Africa, many Indians praised him for doing so.
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So the ICC ruling has not gone down well in the country with many emotional Indians reacting to it.
Many tweeted about how proud they were of both Dhoni and the Indian army. Others told the council or ICC to concentrate on umpiring – a reference to Thursday’s game between West Indies and Australia where batsman Chris Gayle was erroneously given out twice in the space of three deliveries.
This is not the first time that Dhoni has been at the centre of controversy over combining his military background with his cricketing career.
In March, he distributed military-style camouflage caps to his team-mates who wore them during an international game – it was a tribute to the armed forces in the wake of an attack in Indian-administered Kashmir that killed more than 40 paramilitaries.
National sentiment ran high after the incident, and brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war.
Pakistan accused the Indian team of “politicising” the sport and demanded the ICC take action.
The council responded saying that the Indian team had been granted permission to wear the caps. But it still caused a debate, with many pointing out that the council had previously reprimanded players for expressing political sentiments during international matches.
This time around, the ICC objection seems to be more technical than anything else. It says that according to its rules, wicket-keeping gloves can only display two manufacturing logos and nothing else.