Protests against IPL cheerleaders

The Maharashtra government on Thursday said that it was considering a ban on cheerleaders in the DLF IPL matches in Mumbai.

updated: April 24, 2008 13:12 IST
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Every time a wicket falls or a batsman hits a four or six in the DLF IPL match, all eyes turn to the stage where a group of cheerleaders, with pompoms, dance and cheer their respective teams.

But their cheerleading, it seems, has not gone down too well with the moral brigade of Maharashtra. The Maharashtra government on Thursday said that it was considering a ban on cheerleaders in the DLF IPL matches in Mumbai.

The objection on the cheerleaders was raised in the State Legislative Council by Maharashtra BJP president Nitin Gadkari, who is also a member of the House. Gadkari said it was degrading to women and should be banned.

"If the state has banned dance bars then how is it allowing vulgar dances by scantily-clad cheerleaders in IPL matches?" he asked.

Actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha also joined in and said cheerleaders were making a mockery of cricket.

"If you are so interested in deploying these cheer girls who dance after hits of fours and sixes, it is better to give chance to the bar girls who have been rendered unemployed after Maharashtra government put a ban on the dance bars," Sinha said over phone from Mumbai.

"I am afraid that cricket, which has been shortened from five days to one day and now to the T20 format, might be reduced to 'Toss-Toss' in which the winner will be decided through toss," he said sarcastically.

He also sought to know whether the state government would prevent cheerleaders from dancing in IPL matches in Mumbai as it was degrading to women.

To this, Maharahstra's Minister of State for Home, Siddharam Mhetre, said the home department would examine the issue and take a decision accordingly.

The BCCI's stand on this entire episode is still unknown as IPL commissioner and BCCI vice-president, Lalit Modi declined of being aware of any such objections on the cheerleaders.

"I have not heard the ministers statement and cannot respond directly to this."

He, however, assured that all necessary guidelines have been followed by the IPL.

"All necessary guidelines for the performances of cheerleaders at IPL matches have been followed. We have broken no rules," he added.

Modi defended the cheerleaders saying, "If there are dancers on stage for so many Bollywood stage shows, why should there be any objection to cheerleaders. We call them cheerleaders and others call them dancers".