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Cheerleaders at IPL matches trigger a row

Scantily dressed boosters may have added to the fizzy cocktail of cricket but they have stirred a moral debate with political leaders.

cricket Updated: Apr 24, 2008 19:02 IST

Scantily dressed cheeerleaders may have added to the fizzy cocktail of cricket and film stars at IPL cricket matches but they have stirred a moral debate with political leaders calling them "worse than bar dancers" who are making a "mockery of cricket."

The cheerleaders who have been specially flow in from the US have earned the ire of Actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha and the Maharashtra unit of BJP raising questions whether these girls would be allowed to peform during the coming matches in Mumbai. The saffron party demanded a ban on the shows by the cheerleaders who have been described as "cricket's item numbers."

Describing their performance as an "indecent dance", Sinha said it is "difficult to find cricket in these matches" and it is making a mockery of the sport.

"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 became unemployed after Maharashtra government banned their dance in bars,"Sinha said.

Maharashtra BJP president Nitin Gadkari raised the issue in the state Legislative Council prompting the government to say it will consider a ban on shows by cheerleaders in Mumbai during the matches.

"The show by the scantily clad girls was nothing but vulgar dance and they are worse than bar dancers," Gadkari said.

But BCCI Vice President Rajiv Shukla saw nothing wrong in the cheer girls adding glitz to a racy game of cricket. "There is no harm if they dance when a boundary or a six is hit since it is all entertainment," he said.

Some cheer leaders who were in Hyderabad for a match took the attack on them in their stride, especially their skimpy outfits, saying what they were doing is their profession. "I have seen similar outfits in Bollywood films in video clips," a girl who called herself Sam said.