PETA will soon launch a campaign against the use of leather for cricket balls. But this time around, it has signed Liza Malik, a relatively unknown model as the brand ambassador. Liza is an item girl and sings in music videos. Her new video, ‘Tip Tip Barse Paani…’ is scheduled for release later in the month.
Previous celebrities who have endorsed PETA campaigns in India include Celina Jaitly, Lara Dutta and Malaika Arora Khan. Says Sachin Bangera, spokesperson, PETA India, “Liza Malik was in the news recently for a controversy related to IPL match fixing. We thought that using her for the campaign would be eye-catching and innovative. Also, Liza doesn’t use leather products.”
The initiative against the use of leather balls started during the recently concluded ICC Cricket World Cup held in India. As a precursor to a larger campaign, 14 girls representing each participating nation urged people against using leather balls. As part of the Liza Mallik campaign, PETA plans to hold events and set up stalls in major cities across the country. In March, PETA had also written to the ICC on the issue. “We wrote to ICC president Sharad Pawar on the issue and got a response, but it wasn’t clear how they planned to take it forward. So we have written to the ICC again,” says Sachin. “We want the ICC to replace leather used for making cricket balls with synthetic material, which is not impossible. Cricket is a huge sport in India and stopping the use of leather balls will help the cause of preventing cruelty towards animals.”
Says Liza, “About five years ago, I became a vegetarian because of the way animals are slaughtered for their meat. Cricket is a gentleman’s game, and I think we all should be gentle to animals.”