If you had to guess, just what do you think would make Indian Cricket more popular. Better players? Better competition? Nah. It's the cheerleaders!
The Orissa Cricket Association (OCA) is bringing in cheerleaders hoping to boost attendance and popularity for its league. But before you get all excited and book your flight to Cuttack (it's in Northeast India, if you're curious), perhaps you should read the fine print. You see, these aren't the type of cheerleaders we're accustomed to. They're all covered up.
"But I will not have them dressing up in short skirts, as it would be against our culture and traditions," Ashirbad Behera, secretary of the OCA said. "Our audience won't accept it."Well pal, nobody is going to get too excited if they dress like that. People don't really care about the dance routines. It's the outfits.
So it's baby-steps for cheerleaders in India. They've got a lot of people to win over. After all, earlier this year Mumbai police said they would be checking cheerleaders' performances so they would not violate entertainment licences, resulting in fines. Clearly though, not everyone is accepting of the cheerleaders. Case in point, Ramchandra Guha, a historian.
"Why we always have to borrow the worst of the Western world is beyond me."