Amid the ongoing controversy over MS Dhoni sporting an Army insignia during the ongoing World Cup, it has come to fore that the Pakistan team wanted to celebrate India’s wickets ‘differently’ when the two teams meet in an ICC World Cup 2019 match at Manchester on June 16. (Full coverage of ICC World Cup 2019)
According to reports, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan rejected the request and advised the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to tell the cricketers to only stick to cricket during the India-Pakistan World Cup match.
“Prime Minister Khan has clearly conveyed to the players that they must enjoy the game and not indulge in overt show of political diplomacy or aggression. He is clear that sport should not blend with politics, hence there will not be anything like what the Indian cricket team did recently,” A senior official in the Pakistan establishment was quoted as saying by Mumbai Mirror.
Sarfaraz’s men apparently wanted to celebrate ‘differently’ in retaliation to the Men in Blue wearing army caps during an ODI against Australia in March.
The Blue Corner, IND vs AUS Preview – Virat Kohli & Co face litmus test
It should be remembered that after the Pulwama terrorist attack in which 40 CRPF jawans had lost their lives, the Men in Blue had sported camouflage caps in Ranchi. The entire team, along with Dhoni, was seen sporting camouflage caps in their bid to pay tribute to the security personnel who lost their lives in the terror attack on February 14.
Confirming the development, a senior Pakistan journalist said PCB turned the cricketers’ request. “Reports state that the PCB has told its players to stick to cricket and turned down a request from Sarfaraz Ahmed and his team to celebrate India’s wickets ‘differently’ in retaliation to Kohli and Co. wearing army caps during an ODI against Australia in March,” tweeted Sadiq.
He also said that PCB chairman Ehsan Mani, while turning down the request, said, “We will not resort to what the other party has done. There could be sporadic celebrations in case of a hundred, like Misbah-ul-Haq’s push-ups during the Lord’s Test in 2016 which was a tribute to the army, but nothing different at the fall of a wicket.”
Meanwhile, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (ICC) to get the “Balidaan Badge” removed from Dhoni’s gloves which he was seen sporting during India’s World Cup opener against South Africa. Following this, the BCCI had requested the world sport governing body to allow Dhoni to sport the Army insignia.
(With agency inputs)