During IPL 9 we saw cheerleaders dancing round four corners of the ground and encouraging the players of their respective sides and in the process gave a chance for the crowd to cheer along with them during the crucial stages of the match in the best way possible. During 1960s and early 1970s few advertisement were appearing carrying cricketers image for promoting a product. The match referee in Harbhajan Slapgate episode Farookh Engineer appeared in Brylcream advertisment and Ramakant Desai appeared in Chinkara drink commercial. Now almost all cricketers are brand ambassadors for one product or the other. Again a lady on the cricketing field was a rare scene. Sharmila Tagore was by the side of Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi (jr) and both Brijesh Patel and Abbas Ali Baig had a strange experience being kissed in the cricketing field in Bombay. Even a single girl in the field of play inspired young cricketers to score more and impress that particular lady. Now the ground is full of girls and cheer girls are part and parcel of IPL matches. There is no harm in having cheer girls but it is nice to see them cover up before the capacity crowd. This followed the furore over the skimpy outfits, which created uproar even in the Assembly. Some felt that it is not worse than item numbers in Bollywood films. Politicians dubbed them as too wild families who come and watch action to enjoy the Gentleman’s game and the waving of hands of cheerleaders in open. Sixes and fours scored from the blades of the bat but the cheerleaders are there to celebrate each and every boundary hits.
Cheerleader have become instant hit and everyone accept the concept as a matter of entertainment. Jeers, Cheers, Protest against Pom-pom girls are not confined to India. Cricket lovely cricket captions have become a valid one with Cheerleaders taking an active participation. The IPL cheerleaders say they are ready for a makeover, if that is what the so called politician want remarked a cheer girl. It is indeed cheerleaders all the way.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)