India is on the cusp of sealing a semi-final spot in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. A win against tournament hosts and potential title-contenders England will seal their spot in the last four. Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team has performed brilliantly in all facets, be it the bowling, batting or fielding. They are the only undefeated team in the contest and they will be determined to continue their winning run as they gun for a third World Cup title. However, in the build-up to the clash against England, all the talk has been on the colour of the jersey which India will sport for the clash against Eoin Morgan’s side.
Since England are the hosts, the onus is on the visiting team to change their jersey. According to ICC rules, all participating teams are required to provide two different coloured kits for televised ICC events. However, the host country enjoys the preference in the choice of colour and is allowed to provide only one coloured kit to be worn during all their matches. Since both sides have an almost similar shade of blue, India had to change their colour.
On the official Twitter handle of the Cricket World Cup, the Indian cricket team released the jersey which was predominantly orange on the side and the back while the front had an indigo blue shade with India written in orange. Hardik Pandya, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, KL Rahul and Mohammed Shami spotted the jerseys and their photos were shared.
India's W/L record in their last 12 World Cup games: 1️⃣1️⃣ - 1️⃣June 28, 2019
The unveiling of the jersey highlighted the irrelevance the current political opposition has in the country after they accused the Narendra Modi government of ‘saffronising’ the country. Anti-BJP parties, red in the team India’s new jersey colour and said that the ruling government was behind the decision and that it was part of the ongoing saffronisation in the country. “Modi ji wants to saffronise the entire country. A Muslim was the one who designed the Indian Tricolour. There are other colours in the Tricolour, why choose only orange? It will be better if their jersey is based on the Tricolour,” Abu Asim Azmi, a Samajwadi Party MLA, said.
Former Maharashtra minister and Congress MLA Naseem Khan also echoed Azmi’s sentiments and said that the Narendra Modi government was indulging in saffron politics. “Ever since the Modi government has come to power, it has been playing saffron politics. The Tricolour should be respected, and national harmony should be promoted. This government wants to saffronise everything,” Naseem Khan said.
“Colour options were given to BCCI and they chose the colour combination that looked the best to them. The whole idea is to be different from blue as England also wears the same shade of blue as India,” an ICC source was quoted as saying by ANI.
“Also the design (orange) is taken from India’s old T20 jersey which had orange in it. The designers who are sitting in the USA designed this jersey from something that already existed and not something completely new that fans don’t identify with,” the source added.
However, many other Congress leaders brushed aside the criticism saying that it was an unwanted controversy. The action now shifts to the field and England will be facing a do-or-die situation in Edgbaston.