The cricket pitch has always kinda been a cultural battlefield with a political edge for India, a way for the country to flex its strength through sixers. So when the Indian cricket team opted for an orange coloured jersey kit in an upcoming World Cup fixture, some opposition parties in the country took it the wrong way. Since the team would be competing against England on Sunday, June 30, they had to ditch their usual blue jerseys so as to avoid a colour clash and keep another one handy, as per the International Cricket Council (ICC) rules that demand opposing sides provide two kits for televised events. And according to an ICC source, they chose orange from a bunch of options as they felt it would look best on them. They also added that the design was inspired by an old T20 jersey and was designed by people in the US from a pattern that already existed.
However, India’s Congress Party and Samajwadi Party (SP) feel this represents the Hindu nationalist agenda and are pretty against it. "Modi wants to saffronise the entire country," Abu Asim Azmi, from the SP told the BBC. Saffronisation is essentially a term used by critics against Hindu nationalists who try to drive forward their agenda and glorify their ideals through exaggerations of India’s Hindu cultural history. "A Muslim was the one who designed the Indian tricolour. There are other colours in the tricolour, why choose only orange?" Azmi continued.
However, India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun insists it has nothing to do with the Hindu nationalist agenda. He said, “We are focusing on the game and not aware of the colour we are getting. We bleed blue, right. Blue is going to be predominantly the colour and that's it."
Earlier this month, the ICC asked cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni to remove a military badge from his wicket-keeping gloves, since they felt the commando dagger image on it was playing against the rules.
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