New Delhi, Jun 7: Newly-appointed Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Friday came in support of former Indian skipper MS Dhoni over 'Balidaan Badge' on his wicket-keeping gloves row, asking the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to stand with 'Mahi'.
"I am hopeful that BCCI will take up this matter with the ICC. Dhoni's identity is the country's identity, Army's pride and it is not about politics. So, BCCI should stand with Dhoni," he told reporters.
He also made it clear that the government does not intervene in sports-related issues, as these sports bodies are independent and autonomous.
"I would like to say very clearly that the government does not intervene in the affairs of the sports bodies. BCCI or any sports federation, they are autonomous and they run their affairs independently," he added.
Dhoni was spotted with the regimental dagger insignia- 'Balidaan Badge' during India's opening match against South Africa on Wednesday.
Balidan is a distinct insignia of the special forces, which form part of the Parachute Regiment. It has a commando dagger pointed downwards, with upward-extending wings extending from the blade and a scroll superimposed on the blade with "Balidan" inscribed in Devanagari.
This particular insignia - "Balidaan", meaning sacrifice, can only be worn by paramilitary commandos.
"The incident that took place during the World Cup, is a thing related to India's reputation, I want to say that BCCI, on their level, should keep the Indian citizen's emotions in mind and put forward their views properly," Mr Rijiju said.
"I would like to request BCCI to take up the matter with the ICC properly and if necessary, inform the government accordingly," he added.