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Revealed: Rohit Sharma Defended Muslim Pride in Ind Vs Pak World Cup Match

With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) enforcing changes to the 2024 T20 World Cup schedule, it’s time to reflect on another instance when BCCI tried to flex its muscles against Pakistan.

The 2023 World Cup in India is a distant memory for Pakistan due to the team’s poor performance, especially against arch-rivals India. Despite it being an already high-voltage game, the drama was not confined to the cricket field. Behind the scenes, the BCCI and the ruling Modi-led BJP government were engaged in an attempt to stoke anti-Muslim sentiment.

Politics should be kept out of sports, the BCCI has often been accused of using its influence to promote an anti-Pakistan agenda. In this instance, the controversy revolved around a proposed all-orange kit for the Indian team, which was to be worn during their match against Pakistan. This plan, however, was thwarted thanks to the intervention of fans and players, including the Indian team captain, Rohit Sharma. Here’s the story of how BCCI tried to make Indian players wear orange kit against Pakistan in Ahmedabad.

The most audacious plan involved a last-minute attempt to switch the Indian team’s jersey from their traditional blue to an all-orange kit just before the Pakistan match. BCCI treasurer Aishish Shelar dismissed the allegations as “absolutely baseless and a work of someone’s imagination.” However, three independent sources from within the team, the ICC, and the BCCI confirmed the existence of the orange uniform, which had been presented to the team as an alternative two days before the game.

A week before their first fixture, the Indian players received a new training kit consisting of an orange shirt and dark trousers. Then came the proposed all-orange match kit.

According to an Sharda Ogra, a renowned investigative journalist, the players expressed concerns that the kit was “disrespectful to some members of the team,” referring to Mohammad Shami and Mohammad Siraj. Eventually, Rohit Sharma chose to uphold their traditional colors for their home World Cup. They sent a clear message: “Not on our watch, not here, not today.”

The proposal to have the Indian team in all-orange against Pakistan could have been perceived as a visual representation of a Hindu India versus a Muslim Pakistan. This incident also exposes the hypocrisy of BCCI, as during the same tournament, Pakistani players were not allowed to mention Palestine or perform prayers on the field.

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