Hitting out at authorities for using cheerleaders in the cricket field to "seduce" crowds, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Monday said that the sanctity of cricket has been lost as the promoters have turned the field into a dance bar.
"I am a lover of good sports and music. It is the secret of my cheerfulness. I have a special affinity towards cricket. But till now only cricket was played in the field. However, now things are changing with the bringing of cheergirls to seduce the crowd," the Sena chief said in an editorial in the party mouthpiece Samana.
Thackeray, who is the editor-in-chief of Samana said that when cricketers like Polly Umrigar, Dilip Sardesai, Ajit Wadekar, Salim Durrani and Sunil Gavaskar used to play in the cricket field, the whole stadium used to become "cheerful". Nobody that time ever felt the need to bring dancers.
But now one does not know whether people are coming to watch the cricket or to see the cheergirls, he said adding it has degenerated cricket.
Thackeray also questioned Maharashtra government's reluctance to stop, the "naked dance" when farmers in parts of Maharashtra were committing suicides.
"At a time when farmers in Vidarbha and Marathwada region are committing suicide because they are burdened by debts, it is not clear what the people, who are pumping money to bring cheergirls, want to convey," said Thackeray.
He also criticised Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, saying that he has failed to tackle the spate of farmer's suicide in the state.