The Indian Army on Thursday confirmed that cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni has decided to use his break from the sport to serve in Kashmir Valley as he joined a battalion, international media reported.
“The 38-year old wicketkeeper had expressed his unavailability for the tour of West Indies next month and will instead head to the Kashmir Valley,” ESPNcricinfo reported. “There, he will join the 106 Territorial Army Battalion (Para) and stay with them from July 31 to August 15.”
According to the publication, Indian Army spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand noted that Dhoni “will be performing duties of patrolling among other such activities and would be staying with the troops”.
An honourary Lieutenant Colonel, the cricketer would stay with the troops during his serving time and perform patrolling as well as some other duties.
On June 7, the International Cricket Council (ICC) had rejected the Board of Control For Cricket’s (BCCI) request to let Dhoni support the ‘Balidaan’ insignia — an emblem for the Indian Army — on his gloves for the remaining matches of the ICC World Cup 2019.
In its statement, the ICC had said no symbol or message can be pasted or carried on the sports gears or jersey according to the rules. Dhoni’s wicketkeeping gloves were in violation of the ICC’s rules, it added.
“As per ICC regulations, players can’t sport any commercial, religious or military logo. There was nothing commercial or religious in this regard as we all know,” Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai had said.
The army insignia ‘Balidaan Badge’ was seen on the wicket keeper’s gloves during India’s World Cup opener. “We have requested the BCCI to get it removed,” ICC’s Strategic Communications General Manager Claire Furlong had told an Indian private media channel.