On Monday, the International Cricket Council showed off the ‘Black Lives Matter’ logo the West Indies players will sport in their upcoming test series against England.
Soon, Indian cricket fans took to Twitter to question ICC on their reservation against former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni wearing the Balidan insignia on his wicketkeeping gloves which had apparently upset the ICC in 2019.
Dhoni was wearing the paratrooper insignia during the cricket World Cup in 2019.
According to the global body governing cricket, it is against the regulations. When asked whether Dhoni could be punished for breaching ICC rules, Furlong said that at present Dhoni is only requested to remove the insignia and there will be no punishment for the first time offence.
The dagger insignia called the Balidan Badge is a distinct insignia of the special forces forming part of the Parachute Regiment. The badge can only be worn by Paramilitary Commandos. Dhoni, who was conferred an honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment in 2011, was flaunting the Balidan Badge as a mark of respect for the Armed Forces. The former Skipper had also undergone training under the Para Brigade in 2015.
However, with ICC flaunting the ‘Black Lives Matter’ logo, Indian fans were visibly upset.
Dhoni wearing the Balidan badge came months after the ghastly Pulwama attack where Pakistan-backed terrorist killed CRPF soldiers in a suicide attack. Following this, Indian armed forces destroyed terror camps in Balakot and the tensions at the border had escalated.
What ICC rules say
As per rule G.1 in ICC’s Clothing and equipment Rules and regulation guideline, “Players and team officials shall not be permitted to wear, display or otherwise convey messages through arm bands or other items affixed to clothing or equipment (“Personal Messages”) unless approved in advance by both the player or team official’s Board and the ICC Cricket Operations Department. Approval shall not be granted for messages which relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes. The ICC shall have the final say in determining whether any such message is approved. For the avoidance of doubt, where a message is approved by the player or team official’s Board but subsequently disapproved by the ICC’s Cricket Operations Department, the player or team official shall not be permitted to wear, display or otherwise convey such message in International Matches.”
Hence, what appears is that the ‘Black Lives Matter’ logo, which is related to ‘racial activity or cause’ is ‘preapproved’ by the ICC unlike Dhoni’s badge, which was asked to be removed.
Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter is an organised movement in many countries of the world against the racial discrimination and police brutality against African-American people. It was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Trayvon Martin was a 17-year-old African-American boy from Florida who was shot dead by George Zimmerman after physical altercation. The movement regained momentum recently after Minneapolis cops killed an African-American man George Floyd by choking him even as he kept requesting that he can’t breathe.