Ever since the gruesome Pulwama attack that took the lives of our 40 CRPF soldiers, the tensions between India and Pakistan are at its peak. So, as a mark of respect to our martyrs, our men in blue did something extraordinary that took everyone by surprise.

camouflage caps
Image credit: BCCI

Well, on the third one-day cricket international against Australia, in Ranchi, as a gesture of tribute to the Indian soldiers, our Indian cricketers were seen wearing camouflage caps. Not just they sported the “special” caps as a mark of tribute, but they also donated their entire match fee to the National Defence Funds.

Before Friday’s toss, the former skipper, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is an honorary lieutenant colonel with the Indian Army, distributed the caps among his team members himself. It is being said that the idea came from MS Dhoni himself.

Considering the fact, ICC rules do not permit wearing of caps other than national caps. Although, teams often observe silence over national tragedies or wear black bands, but this was the first time that a team was seen wearing something other than their national jersey.

However, the camouflage caps have now started a new debate all over. While it won many hearts in India, it irked many in Pakistan.

Even the information and broadcasting minister of Pakistan, Fawad Chaudhry accused India of politicizing the game of cricket. Through his tweet, he tried to seek a strict action against Indian cricketers from the ICC.

‘It’s just not Cricket’, I hope ICC ll take action for politicizing Gentleman’s game … if Indian Cricket team ll not be stopped, Pak Cricket team should wear black bands to remind The World about Indian atrocities in Kashmir… I urge #PCB to lodge formal protest” , he tweeted.

His opinions were backed by Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who later joined him and demanded a strict action from ICC.

But ICC has now clarified that BCCI had taken prior permission from the governing body beforehand.

“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had requested permission from ICC CEO Dave Richardson on Thursday to let the players participate in a charity fund-raising effort and wear army caps with the BCCI crest in memory of the fallen soldiers,” a source in the International Cricket Council (ICC) told TOI on Saturday.

So, when ICC has now cleared the air, all the actions taken by Pakistan cricket board (PCB) would be swiftly neglected by the governing body.

On the other hand, leaving the Pakistanis apart, as the military caps symbolise aggression the gesture has irked many Indians as well, from people calling it a sign of threat to slamming Indian cricketers for mixing sports with nationalism and politicizing it, a lot has already been said on this matter.

Summing it up in a single line – a stand was needed to be taken. Kudos to our Indian cricket team for this gesture.