Ranchi: The Indian cricket team on Friday paid respect to the martyrs of the Pulwama terror attack by wearing Army caps and the players decided to donate their match fees to the families of the CRPF men who were killed on February 14.

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Ahead of the third ODI against Australia in Ranchi, Lieutenant Colonel MS Dhoni presented the camouflage caps to all the players and the coaching staff.

The official Twitter handle of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said the players were wearing the caps as a mark of tribute to the nearly 50 CRPF men who were martyred in a suicide bombing.

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“#TeamIndia will be sporting camouflage caps today as mark of tribute to the loss of lives in Pulwama terror attack and the armed forces And to encourage countrymen to donate to the National Defence Fund for taking care of the education of the dependents of the martyrs #JaiHind (sic),” BCCI tweeted with a video of Dhoni handing over the caps to his team-mates and the support staff.

After winning the toss, captain Virat Kohli said it is a “special cap” and a “special game” for India. He also urged all Indians to donate to the national defence fund just like the cricketers.

“It is a special cap. This is to pay respect to the martyrs of the Pulwama attack and their families. And, all the players in the team have decided to donate their match fees of this particular game to the national defence fund. And, I as the captain of the team would urge everyone in the country to do the same, donate how much ever they can to the national defence fund, and, help in the education and well-being of the families and children of those who lost their lives in the attack. So, it is a very special cap and a very special game indeed,” Kohli said at the toss.

Dhoni was given an honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in November 2011. He is playing on his home ground, probably for the last time in an international game. Reports said that it was Dhoni’s idea to wear Army caps.

India are leading 2-0 in the five-match series. Kohli opted to field first after winning the toss in Ranchi. The fourth ODI is in Chandigarh on March 10 and the final contest in New Delhi on March 13.