The Indian Premier League (IPL) may think of the Indian Cricket League (ICL) as a rebel without a cause and the feeling may well be reciprocated but, when it comes to hiring technicians, cheerleaders and even Bollywood stars, they seem like brothers in arms.
N Sudarshan, a freelancer associated with the ICL as a TV production director, has been lapped up by IPL too. Reason: Dearth of good technicians who can work in a cricket environment or produce programmes on the sport. Sudarshan has been hired by the World Sports Group, which, along with Sony Max, produces the Extraa Innings.
“There are very few technical people in India who can make cricket related programmes,” said Sudarshan from Hyderabad, where he was getting ready for Thursday’s Hyderabad-Jaipur match. <b1>
“I am the director of the Extraa Innings programme, which is telecast before and after every IPL match,” he added.
According to Sudarshan, he isn’t the only one involved with both leagues. “It is difficult to give the exact number of people, but my estimate is that there may be as many as 20 to 25 freelancers who have worked in both leagues.”
Some of them are foreigners. Like Tim Fillay of Australia. Fillay was there at the ICL and is now freelancing as a director with the IPL.
Technicians aren’t the only ones bridging the IPL-ICL ‘gap’! Two Russian cheerleaders, Katrina and Maria, who put on their dancing shoes for the ICL, are now busy entertaining supporters of the Jaipur IPL team.
Their choreographer, Sylvester, said: “They are freelancers, so when they were performing at the ICL, they got an offer from an IPL team. So, now you can see them performing there as well.”
The same can be said of Bollywood actor Sameera Reddy, who had performed at an ICL match in Panchkula and is now showcasing her dancing skills for the Jaipur team.
Said an ICL official, who did not wish to be named, “The BCCI can ban the players and the umpires but I am sure they cannot do that with the technicians and showgirls as there is a dearth of good ones in the country.”