Congress Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor Saturday said the Indian cricket team chose saffron for a World Cup match in view of an International Cricket Council rule and asserted that it was a proud Indian colour.
A new ICC rule required that when two teams had jerseys with the same colour, the host country's team does not need to change its outfit, he said in Chennai.
The other team must, however, change its outfit so India chose a uniform of saffron and blue, he added.
"...so, I wore a saffron jacket with a slightly blue pocket handkerchief and that was out of suport for (Indian team) them (for the match against England)," he said.
The orange colour in the Indian team's official uniform had led to an outcry from some Congress and Samajwadi Party leaders who alleged it was a bid aimed at "saffronisation" drawing ridicule from the BJP which dubbed their reaction as "myopic and reactionary".
Answering a question from a participant following his lecture on his "The Great Indian Novel," inspired by the Mahabarata in Chennai, Mr Tharoor asked "why should I surrender saffron to any political conviction..?"
The participant, pointing to his saffron kurta, asked if he chose it to face "the English (England) cricket team (again)."
The Congress MP from Kerala said as far as he was concerned, "it (saffron) is a very proud Indian colour and it is one of the three colours in the Indian flag...so happy to wear it."
He said he could watch only two matches because of the Parliamentary session.
In the recent match with England, Indian cricketers had sported a orange-blue jersey.
The lecture was organised by the CPR Institue of Indological Research here as a sequel to its Mahabharata conference held in March this year.