The cricket Board's move to get rid of cheerleaders from the Indian Twenty20 league seems to have upset some franchises, TV broadcasters as well as agencies providing the entertainers to the teams.
When the BCCI interim president Jagmohan Dalmiya mentioned 12 points to clean up cricket on Monday in the wake of the spot fixing scandal in the league, the banning of cheerleaders and after-parties had come up first.
However, the feeling among certain franchises and at least one agency which provides cheerleaders is that such a ban implies that the BCCI suspects the cheerleaders of wrongdoing.
Chirayu Amin, when he took over as interim chairman in 2010, had promised to end after-parties as well as the cheerleaders in the league.
“During the course of the league over the last four seasons, the League and BCCI officials were insisting that there have been no after-parties and that the cheerleaders weren't attending private parties. How come in ‘Operation Clean up’, they end up banning both first up?” asked an official.
No Board official was available for comment but sources close to them say the BCCI has failed badly. Some Board officials also believe banning the cheerleaders will hit the broadcasters.
A top official at Multi Screen Media (which own broadcaster Set Max) said, “We promote the league in our ad campaigns as entertainment because of dance, songs and glamour. Taking out cheerleaders would lead us to think of new strategies to promote the event.”
Last month, HT had reported that in some cities private parties were being held and cheergirls had attended.
The apparent threat to the league from cheerleaders, according to officials, is that they could be used as honey-trap and during the course of a match, they could relay message through players fielding on the boundary line.