After promoting hockey through his hit film Chak De! India and joining the Indian Premier League (IPL) to encourage cricket in India, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan is now popularising cheerleading as a sport.
The actor says he is doing so through his TV reality show Knights and Angels - that aims to find six cheerleaders who will cheer for Shah Rukh's Kolkata Knight Riders team at the IPL starting April 18.
"Knights and Angels is not a part of the marketing strategy for my cricket team. It is an extension of my belief in spreading the awareness of sports in India. Cheerleading is a big sport in America and cheerleaders have their own fan following,” Shah Rukh said on the forthcoming episode of the show, to be aired on NDTV Imagine on Saturday.
During last year's IPL season, the American concept of cheerleaders at sporting events was replicated here to add a dash of glamour and entertainment, but many felt it was vulgar and obscene and did not suit Indian sentiments.
To this, Shah Rukh said: “As the controversy hit our nation last year regarding this sport, I decided to add respectability to this profession (through my show). I think it can create great opportunities for the youth brigade.”