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A pair of binoculars, and discerning eyes

A pair of binoculars can be a handy item when watching cricket from the press box. Many great cricket writers have used it to capture the minutest detail. Rohit Bhaskar reports.

india Updated: Apr 18, 2012 01:26 IST
Rohit Bhaskar
Rohit Bhaskar

Cheerleaders-cheer-up-cricket-fans-during-the-IPL-5-T20-match-between-KKR-and-KXIP-at-Eden-Gardens-in-Kolkata

A pair of binoculars can be a handy item when watching cricket from the press box. Many great cricket writers have used it to capture the minutest detail.

This of course is the IPL, it's not cricket. With a pair of binoculars placed next to a laptop facing an empty seat that was adjacent to mine, one decided to use them to keep an eye (both eyes actually!) on a match in the life of a cheerleader.

The hometown Rajasthan Royals' cheerleaders enter first, in groups of threes. One bunch is dressed in red, one in blue and another in yellow. With music blaring and the crowd cheering on, the girls head to their dais.

Just behind the dais where the girls groove, a mesh of metal wires is all that stands between them and ogling cops. The match starts, the first ball, the Deccan Chargers' girls have to the climb the three steps that lead to their dais and gyrate to songs like Chikni Chameli because Kumar Sangakkara hit a four.

In an innings that saw 25 hits to the boundary, the Chargers' cheergirls repeat the feat a further 24 times. In addition to that, they have to do a jig at the end of every over. That's 40 more trips to the dais. The Chargers managed to pick five wickets, and you know what that means. Yes, five more!

The Rajasthan Royals' cheergirls, meanwhile, have taken shelter to protect their skin from the piercing rays of a Jaipur afternoon sun.

They have probably the oddest pom-poms. Unlike the big, fluffy, white ones that the Chargers' cheergirls are waving, the Royals' cheergirls have pom-poms that look something you'd use to decorate a Christmas tree. Small, metallic things, which look like Medussa's hair!

We know the Royals have built the team on a budget, but were there similar budget considerations when deciding on the cheerleaders' pom-poms?

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