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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Yagnik drives Steyn & Nehra leaks 24 - IPL Update and Cheer queens

IPL 5 reportedly is not attracting as many viewers as it used to – is what is getting reported.    T20 is no doubt an innovation aimed at bringing more spectators who were drooping out of traditional Test matches.

Elsewhere South Africa is to play five T20s against Zimbabwe in Harare in June and there are reports that those  T20s  may not be televised as Zimbabwe Cricket is unlikely to be able to afford the costs involved.   The Zimbabwe Board’s budget could take care only of SA team’s hotel expenses and they could ill-afford any other expenses. The five T20s will not be recognised as internationals but have instead been given practice match status because the visit is not part of the Future Tours Programme. They were organised on special request after Gary Kirsten, South Africa's coach, asked to play more 20-over fixtures before the World Twenty20 in September. All five fixtures will be played in the afternoon to "accommodate the shorter daylight hours", according to Zimbabwe Cricket.

At IPL there continues to be many nail-biting finishes.. some losses after tall scores.  At Jaipur, Deccan Chargers lost yet another time, this time due to an excellent cameo by Brad Hodge.  Hodge smashed an unbeaten 48 off 21 deliveries as RR successfully chased down a daunting target of 196 with two balls to spare.  It was the fierce Dale Steyn bowling the last over but the little known glovesman Dishant Yagnik, playing his first match of the tournament, hit successive boundaries off Dale Steyn to clinch the match.  Royals required 25 runs in the last two overs and  the loss of Johan Botha also did not deter them. 

After being the recipient of Albie Morkel’s heist, Royal Challengers Bangalore won a thriller at Bangalore beating Pune Warriors.   21 were required off the last over – Ashish Nehra the bowler was thrashed by De Villiers around the park for a four and 2 sixers; 3 requried off the last ball and Saurabh Tiwary smashed it straight and flat for a six.  For long Gayle was dormant by his standards but then battered the leggie Rahul Sharma for 5 sixers in a row turning the target little.  Earlier, Muralitharan was rested on his birth day as Pune made a good start with Uthappa  and Ryder playing well.  In the end, it appeared that Pune could have managed more than the 182 they did. 

Now those of you watching the matches sure would have noticed something different.  You would have observed that everytime a boundary is hit, a six struck, or a fallen wicket, camera focuses to the podium of cheer queens who in a routine round of physical activity dance, leap and jump.  It is stated that many visit the stadium with binoculars to watch them and some reports have it that back home, they are bankers, school teachers or dancers – but many  young women have come to India from foreign shores like Ukraine, Russia, Belgium and Norway as cheerleaders for the Indian Premier League (IPL).  Do you remember that last year South African cheerleader Gabriella Pasqualotto became an internet sensation and a mini-celebrity back home after being kicked out of the IPL for secretly blogging on player behavior in post-match parties.

The Sahara sponsored Pune Warriors have Cheer Queens of a different sort – Indian girls dressed in designer ethnic dance costumes with dance choreographed by Tahushree Shankar and Ganesh Hegde – displaying traditional dances of India.  To them it is no to minis and yes to traditional costumes.  This was posted earlier, infact much before the start of the IPL 5. Read :

And Sahara is not alone !!  - there is another team of cheer leaders wrapped in sarees.  Kolkata Knight Riders, has decided to cover their cheerleaders in one of the most traditional Indian outfits — a marked departure from their 2008 wardrobe.  All these sari-clad cheerleaders  are “local hires” and  dance to classical Bengali music in between boundaries and fall of wickets.   You can have your own opinion on whether this represents shift towards Indian culture or a change necessitated by falling revenue !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
18th April 2012

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