There are marketing gimmicks and marketing gimmicks, but this one really takes the cake — mishti doi, in this case. The Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) franchise has decided the go the Bengali way in the coming season of the Indian Premier League. So what is the Bengali way? There will be no fish curry and rice for players during the 10-minute break between the two innings, but something more substantial. Instead of those short-skirted, videshi cheerleaders, the Knight Riders will have local, sari-clad woman (red border saris?), dancing to the tunes of Rabindrasangeet!
While we certainly do not want to comment on the merits or demerits of using Rabindrasangeet at the end of a tight over or when a batsman hits a sixer, we hope that the people in charge are scouring Gitabitan for the right songs; after all, moods do change very fast in this format of the game. In fact, we are all for going local and feel this is a fantastic idea. So other teams too should follow this format: Punjabis should go for bhangra dancers, Bangalore should use out-of-work Kingfisher employees (which actually sounds quite promising) and Mumbai, well, may be the ubiquitous Kantabais as cheerleaders in their full gear. But what about Delhi, the city that belongs to no one, yet to everyone? The Delhi Daredevils can show a bit of extravagance and may be do a unity-in-diversity theme? Ah, it’s already sounding like those January 26 tableaux!
Meanwhile, we wonder why there is this interest in going local? If you ask us, it’s not about any regional patriotism but about local connect, which may lead to an increase in ticket sales. But the question is: will Shah Rukh Khan, the Kolkata franchise owner, shake a leg with the Bong beauties with Rabindrasangeet playing in the background? We will be watching.