India’s cricketers on Friday sported camouflaged caps during the third One-Day International against Australia in Ranchi as a tribute to the country’s armed forces.
Speaking after the toss at the JSCA International Stadium in Ranchi, Indian captain Virat Kohli said that the players decided to wear the special cap “in honour of our soldiers who died in the Pulwama attack.”
“Every player of our team will also donate his entire match fee to the National Defence Fund of the country. I urge my countrymen to donate and help the families of the soldiers who lost their lives in the Pulwama attack,” Kohli said.
The caps were distributed to the players by Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The former captain was conferred the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel by the Indian Territorial Army in 2011.
The Indian team will be wearing such caps for at least one match every year going forward.
Not just the cricketers, even the Indian commentators decided to wear the camouflaged caps during the match on Friday. Former captain Sunil Gavaskar distributed the caps to Sanjay Manjrekar, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, Murali Kartik and Harsha Bhogle.
However, this initiative by the Board of Control for Cricket in India drew mixed reactions on Twitter. There were many who reckoned that sports shouldn’t be used for symbolism. It was even pointed out that displaying any kind of message on the field through clothing or equipment is against the International Cricket Council’s laws.
The game’s governing body had banned English all-rounder Moeen Ali from wearing “Save Gaza” and “Free Palestine” wristbands during a Test match against India in 2014.
Here are some of the reactions:
There were others who felt it was a fine gesture, too.