COA chief Vinod Rai talking to media persons in Mumbai on Friday. Photo/ANI
COA chief Vinod Rai talking to media persons in Mumbai on Friday. Photo/ANI

COA has written to ICC not to remove Dhoni's army insignia, says Vinod Rai

ANI | Updated: Jun 07, 2019 18:01 IST

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], June 7 (ANI): COA chief Vinod Rai on Friday said that they have written to the ICC not to remove wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni's army insignia. However, he acknowledged if the apex cricketing body is against it, they will take the permission.
"We are convinced that ICC rules say it should not have any religious, military or commercial significance, any insignia worn by any player. One should conform to ICC rules," Rai told the reporters.
"In this particular case that insignia has none of those connotations. So we are going to tell the ICC that it need not be removed. But in any case, if they feel, we will take the permission as we had taken permission from the ICC when camouflage caps were worn because we believe in conforming to norms of the game. If the ICC has set of norms we will go by that," he added.
When asked whether the COA has spoken to Dhoni, Rai immediately refused. He further said, "We will follow the ICC norms 100 per cent, whatever it says. Otherwise, we will check."
BCCI CEO Rahul Johri has gone to the UK. When questioned if his travel has got anything to do with the issue, Rai said Johri has left to attend an ICC meeting.
"Rahul Johri's going has nothing to do with this issue. We had already sent the request for ICC permission today morning. Rahul Johri is going for an ICC meeting that has nothing to do with this issue," he said.
India will next play Australia on June 9 in the ongoing ICC Men's Cricket World Cup.
Replying if no decision is taken by the date of the match will Dhoni wear the army insignia, the COA chief said, "First let us discuss with the ICC. Depending on the reaction we will decide."
COA member and former India women skipper Diana Edulji said that Dhoni is not a controversial person and they will back the player.
"We have just sent the mail to the ICC. We haven't spoken to the team and we back our players to the hilt. The BCCI is there for cricket and cricketers. Dhoni is not a controversial person and lets us be clear in that matter. Hopefully, things should be sorted out before India's next match against Australia," she said.
ICC, on Friday, said that if Dhoni and BCCI manage to convince them that the 'Balidan Badge' does not have any political, religious or racial message it may consider allowing him to continue wearing it on his gloves.
"If MS Dhoni and BCCI convince us that the 'Balidan Badge' does not have any political, religious or racial message, ICC may consider the request," an ICC source said.
Earlier, the veteran wicket-keeper batsman was seen donning the 'Balidan' (sacrifice) badge on his glove during India's first World Cup match against South Africa on June 5. The former India skipper was spotted sporting the Army insignia, which was clearly seen while he stumped Andile Phehlukwayo. The regimental dagger is the insignia of the Indian Para Special Forces.
ICC on Thursday asked BCCI to get the insignia of one of the Indian Army units removed from the wicket-keeping gloves of Dhoni.
"We have requested the BCCI to get it removed," Claire Furlong, ICC General Manager, Strategic Communications said.
ICC equipment and clothing regulations do not permit the display of messages that relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes during an international match. (ANI)