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Now, the IPL

The curtains may’ve come down on the World Cup, but coming right along to give that much needed pitch fix is the fourth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), beginning April 8.

entertainment Updated: Apr 06, 2011 15:48 IST
Aaron Rohan George

The curtains may’ve come down on the World Cup, but coming right along to give that much needed pitch fix is the fourth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), beginning April 8. With 74 matches across 13 venues across the country, there will be enough of cricket to see soon again.

And, with a twist. First timers Sahara Pune Warriors will have Indian dancers as ‘cheer queens’, who won’t throw their legs up in the air but will perform seven traditional dance forms (see box). The players too, are set to get designer makeovers. Delhi-based designer duo Shantanu and Nikhil Mehra are designing the outfits for three teams in association with sports label Adidas. “We’ve been roped in to create the uniforms for the Sahara Pune Warriors, while also revamp the looks completely for the Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians. The looks are very different,” says Nikhil.

The much debated IPL Parties, which Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni blamed for India’s early exit from the T20 World Cup last year, are also almost certainly making a return this year, and this time around, they’re most likely to be organised by the UB Group. “Everything is still being planned but the franchisees have been approached,” says a source from the Vijay Mallya-owned company, wishing not to be named.

Clubs, too, are busy prepping up already, and going beyond the clichéd deals. “Besides big screen projections, we’re also trying to work out a way to give headphones to fans who want to listen to the live commentary. On match days, we’ll have T-shirts and caps of the playing teams for guests,” says restaurateur Marut Sikka, who owns nightspots Magique and Keya. “Fans can even book private corners for match viewing,” says Vivek Shukla of The Lalit hotel.

Cheer girls in saris
Sahara Pune Warriors’ ‘cheer queens’, clad in ethnic wear, will perform Indian dances acts such as Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi. “We intend to showcase India’s rich culture,” says Subrata Roy of the Sahara Group. Neeta Lulla, who has designed the costumes, says, “We are using light fabrics so that the girls can move freely.”

Warnie’s label to hit city stores
IPL fan merchandise is set to get a new twist. Sources say that cricket legend Shane Warne’s new apparel label, Spinners, will also be sold along in the country along with other official IPL merchandise. This will be the first time that the label will be available in India. It retails only in Australia as of now.