Former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag has advocated for a change in the name featured on the official jerseys of the Indian cricket team for the upcoming ICC ODI World Cup 2023. Sehwag has requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Jay Shah to replace ‘India’ with ‘Bharat’ in a manner similar to how the Netherlands cricket team is known as ‘Holland’.
This appeal for a name alteration comes in the wake of a recent controversy surrounding the official invitation extended by Indian President Droupadi Murmu to G20 delegates, where she was referred to as the “President of Bharat” instead of the conventional “President of India.”
Taking to Twitter on September 5, Sehwag expressed his viewpoint, stating, “I have always believed that a name should instill pride in us. We are Bhartiyas. ‘India’ is a name bestowed upon us by the British, and it is high time we officially revert to our original name, ‘Bharat.’ I urge the BCCI and Jay Shah to ensure that, during this World Cup, our players proudly wear ‘Bharat’ on their jerseys.”
In support of his argument, Sehwag cited the example of the Netherlands cricket team, which transitioned from ‘Holland’ to its original name, ‘Netherlands.’ He also mentioned other countries that have reclaimed their original names after historical changes.
Additionally, an old social media post by Sehwag from the Asia Cup 2023 India vs. Pakistan game went viral, wherein he used the hashtag #BHAvsPAK instead of the usual #INDvsPAK, eliciting interesting reactions from cricket fans.
Currently, Team India is participating in the Asia Cup 2023 in Sri Lanka and has progressed to the Super Four Stage of the continental championship. The ICC ODI World Cup is set to commence on October 5, with India playing their first match against Australia on October 8.