'Not on our watch': How Rohit Sharma and Co denied wearing orange jersey during 2023 ODI World Cup

Popular sports journalist Sharda Ugra highlighted in her column for the 2024 Wisden Almanac how it would have been inappropriate for some cricketers. 
2023 ODI World Cup?width=963&height=541&resizemode=4

The Indian team had a dream run during last year's home ODI World Cup where they went unbeaten throughout the tournament. However, Rohit Sharma and Co couldn't cross the final hurdle, going down to heavyweights Australia in the summit clash. 

While it was a disappointing end for the players and fans alike, there was something else brewing underneath - the politicisation of Indian cricket. 

What highlights the fact is that ahead of India's marquee clash against arch-rivals Pakistan, there were strong rumours that India would don an orange jersey for the high-octane fixture. 

Delving deep into the matter, popular sports journalist Sharda Ugra highlighted in her column for the 2024 Wisden Almanac how the team management in the end decided against it since it would be inappropriate for some cricketers. 

The reason is that orange has been propagated by India's ruling party BJP as their official colour and is often associated with Hinduism. 

How Rohit Sharma and Co denied wearing the orange jersey

Thus the idea was to field a Hindu Indian team against the Muslim Pakistan team. Orange is generally the colour of priests, and sages whereas green signifies mosques and shrines. 

The BCCI however denied all rumours, especially with two muslim players in the Indian ranks - Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj. 

Not only that, there were also rumours of renaming the team to 'Bharat' which former players like Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag were on board. The opinion eventually died a quick death. 

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Concluding her column, Ugra wrote, "Each man in the squad, and every cricket fan knows, the day may come when their playing uniform turns orange. Yet, at their home World Cup, regardless of the optics, Rohit Sharma's India chose to say, Not on our watch, not here, not today."

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