Bengaluru, Oct 18: Indian cricketers Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane are making their mothers proud during the One Day International series against New Zealand, in a new campaign.
Limited overs captain Dhoni, Test skipper Kohli and batsman Rahane are proudly wearing their mothers' names on the back of their blue India ODI jerseys in "Nayi Soch" initiative by "Star Plus" TV channel.
In 3 separate campaign videos, the cricketers pay tributes to their mothers.
The video shows Dhoni, with her mother's name Devika on the back of the jersey, being asked by a reporter, "Sir...sir...your t-shirt says..."
Dhoni replies, "Devki? That's my mother's name."
The reporter questions again, "Sir, any particular reason?"
"For so many years I have been wearing my father's name. Then you never asked me, 'any particular reason?'," said the wicketkeeper-batsman.
Kohli opens up with the name Saroj written on the jersey, "You must be wondering whose name it is? It's mine."
"Whatever I am today, it is also because of my mother. So obviously, why should my identity be linked only to my father's name? I am as much a Saroj as I am a Kohli," the star batsman said.
Rahane talks about his mother Sujata's struggles when she carried his kitbag and his younger brother to practice daily.
"When I was young my mother would hold my kitbag and also carry my younger brother in one arm while she took me for my cricket practice everyday. My practice became a work-out regime for her."
"People say one should bring honour to their father's name, but for me, it is equally important to bring honour to my mother's name as well," Rahane said.
"Star India ushers in new thinking by questioning various societal stereotypes that hold women back, not just through its new shows but also through a brand initiative along with BCCI, as the Indian cricket team sponsor. As part of this initiative, Star Plus unveiled a TV campaign on October 16 during the India- New Zealand ODI series where the cricketing heroes play messengers of this 'Nayi Soch'," said "Star India" about the initiative.
"In the campaign, India's cricket icons - Dhoni, Virat and Ajinkya proudly wear their mothers' names on their jersey instead of their own names or father's surnames, acknowledging the fact that one derives one's identity as much from one's mother as one's father. However the stereotypical societal notions around lineage and identity fall short of acknowledging the role of women - a thought supported and celebrated by BCCI through this campaign as well.
"The campaign is built around real life examples from the lives of these 3 cricketer icons, and the philosophy on how they are what they are, in large part because of their mothers," it added.
Sanjay Gupta, Managing Director, "Star India", said, "We at Star India are very happy to partner with BCCI for an iconic brand initiative of "Nayi Soch". Star Plus has been a lighthouse brand for women. We have always put women first, told their stories, and are now set to take it to the next level - by challenging orthodoxy and stereotypes that come in the way of progress for women."
India won the opening ODI against New Zealand in Dharamsala by 6 wickets. Kohli starred with the bat with an unbeaten 85. The 2nd game is in Delhi on Thursday (October 20).