India's 'orange' jersey questioned by political parties

According to reports, India will don a new 'Orange' jersey against England. Photo credit: Reuters

Abu Azmi, a leader of the Samajwadi Party in Maharashtra and Naseem Khan, vice-president of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committe, have raised questions over the Indian cricket team's plan to sport an 'Orange' jersey. The team is apparently scheduled to don the jersey against England on June 30 in the ICC World Cup 2019.

Speaking to reporters outside the state legislature, Azmi said he feels happy when the Indian cricket team wins.

"But Modi wants to paint the entire country with saffron," he said.

"Today, jerseys are being made saffron. Modi-ji, the person who decided the colours of the national flag was a Muslim leader. If you want to pick a colour for the jersey, pick the tricolour, I won't mind," he said.

"But it will be unjust if you paint everything saffron.....people should oppose it," Azmi said.

BJP MLA Ram Kadam said the opposition parties were running out of issues during the ongoing monsoon session.

"Hence they are politicizing what should be the colour of Indian team's jersey....Why not saffron? Why they hate saffron so much?" he said.

The BJP's flag has both green and saffron in it, he noted.

"Let the cricketers decide the colour of their jersey. Will the opposition decide that?" he asked.

Shiv Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande said the opposition parties were staring at a defeat in the coming Assembly polls, therefore they were indulging in "childish talk".

"What problem they have with saffron? Saffron is part of the tricolour and it was chosen for the jersey. What is the problem with that?" she asked.

Naseem Khan, a Congress MLA from the city, endorsed Azmi's charge of `saffronisation'.

"Be it sports, culture or education...it is very unfortunate that saffron politics is being played. It is the tricolour which must be respected first...current government is taking the country towards saffronisation, which will damage the country's unity," Khan said. 

In the 2019 World Cup, the ICC has directed a number of teams to have two sets of jerseys, to avoid colour confusion with the jerseys of their opponents. The ICC said, "For televised ICC events all participating teams will be required to provide for two different coloured kits, except for the host country who has a preference in the choice of colour and may, if it chooses to do so, provide only one coloured kit to be worn in all matches throughout the event. In advance of the event the teams will be notified which coloured kit will be worn in each match."

India's blue jersey clashes with that of England, and since the host is exempt from wearing a second kit, the Indian cricket team will apparently wear the new 'Orange' jersey. 

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