The Thiruvananthapuram Congress MP, Mr. Shashi Tharoor, has said the Indian cricket team chose saffron for a World Cup match in view of an International Cricket Council rule and asserted that it was a proud Indian colour. A new ICC rule required that when two teams had jerseys with the same colour, the host country’s team does not need to change its outfit, he said.
The other team must, however, change its outfit so India chose a uniform of saffron and blue. He added. '…so, I wore a saffron jacket with a slightly blue pocket handkerchief and that was out of support for (Indian team) them (for the match against England),' he said. The orange colour in the Indian team’s official uniform had led to an outcry from some Congress and Samajwadi Party leaders who alleged it was a bid aimed at 'saffronisation' drawing ridicule from the BJP which dubbed the reaction as 'myopic and reactionary'.
Answering a question after his lecture on his 'The Great Indian Novel,' inspired by the Mahabarata, Mr. Tharoor asked 'why should I surrender saffron to any political conviction..?'
The participant, pointing to his saffron kurta, asked if he chose it to face 'the English (England) cricket team (again).' The MP said as far as he was concerned, 'it (saffron) is a very proud Indian colour and it is one of the three colours in the Indian flag…so I am happy to wear it.'
He said he could watch only two matches because of the Parliament session.
In the recent match with England, Indian cricketers had sported a orange-blue jersey. The lecture was organised by the C P R Institue of Indological Research as a sequel to its Mahabharata conference held in March this year.