Does cricket need cheerleading?

As the debate over cheerleading in the IPL matches gains momentum, our surfers ponder whether the issue deserves such attention.

updated: April 26, 2008 09:15 IST
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Gorgeous girls gyrating in scanty outfits have long charmed the Bollywood audience, but with the arrival of American cheerleaders for the DLF Indian Premier League matches, the nation has got a new breed of dancers.

While people, politicians and Bollywood stars debate the issue of cheerleading in the DLF Indian Premier League matches, our surfers ponder whether it deserves such attention. While many think cheerleading makes cricket more enjoyable - adding a lot of glamour and excitement to the game, others strongly detest the very idea of cheerleading during cricket matches.

"What a dumb issue! Watch brilliant cricket being played... enjoy the cheerleaders. Why make an issue? It's just like making a mountain out of a molehill," says Bccool from Birmingham.

But, does cricket need cheerleading? Well, cheerleading... a necessity or not, there are rarely any questions about the athleticism of cheerleaders. Cheerleading takes just as much dedication and skill as any other sport, sometimes it takes more.

Freemind from Muscat says, "I think we should concentrate less on the cheerleaders and more on cricket. Leave those poor girls alone they are just doing their job."

When the country is grappling with issues like farmers' suicides and female infanticide, can we afford to waste our thoughts and time on issues that have absolutely no relation to the people's well-being.

Another surfer, Rohit, says, "Don't you think we've had enough of these politicians, who spend more time, money and effort in these antics than on those they should be doing (good governance, development and infrastructure)."

But, many think the game of cricket which has long been known as the gentleman's game, does not need any cheerleaders.

"No need for cheerleaders. They divert the viewers' concentration away from the game... nothing will happen if they don't cheer for the players. They should be banned," says Karthik from Salem, India.

One of surfers feels that cheerleading simply does not suit cricket. "Cheap," says Oldmonk74. "I think it's very cheap. I am used to watching cheerleaders in NBA and NFL but this just doesn't seem to fit in cricket. The cheerleaders don't even belong to cricket-playing nations in most cases," he argues.

Many others, however, do not seem to agree with Oldmonk74. "Cheerleaders... hey come on why do you people think they are a distraction to the game? Indeed, they are pushing the excitement level. There's no harm to the game. It's just part of the game," asserts Surender Naidu from Hyderabad.

Mukesh Goel from Durham, UK, seems to concur. "I am not able to understand what makes people think that they are out of place. There are many sports where dresses sportspersons wear are shorter than what the cheerleaders are wearing."

Are cheerleaders a distraction for the players on the field? Well, popular Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi may believe so, but not many support his contention.

"I don't think cheerleaders are distraction for players. If you can play in front of 100,000 crowd amidst so much noise, then how come cheerleaders will distract you?" says RS from Mumbai.

While we continue to debate whether cheerleading is a sport or not, whether cricket needs it or not, we cannot deny the fact that cheerleading is an art in itself and that cheerleaders work just as hard as "real athletes" do.