In one of the Indian T20 league matches recently, the entire band of cheerleaders had disappeared to the team hotel immediately after the match. The reason was that a post-match party was being held at the hotel and the cheerleaders were supposed to attend it.
In fact, the home team was supposed to play another match at the same venue following a day’s break. All this came as a surprise to people who heard it since Chirayu Amin, the former stand-in commissioner, had in late 2010, promised to ban such parties saying the idea was to put the focus back on cricket.
Par for the course
“This wasn’t just one-off. There were parties after every game. Although entry is restricted, it wasn’t difficult to get in, if you knew the right people,” said an official who had attended it. “Most of these parties are organised by owners while the sponsors also chip in,” the official added.
In 2011, a Mumbai Indians’ cheerleader from South Africa, Gabriella Pasqualotto was sent back after she had blogged about after parties. “Usually only after day matches there is an exclusive after party and at night is when it all happens. The music pumps, the drinks flow and the cricketers come and go … the real fun happens in the VIP rooms where the players and night owls can cause scandal!” Pasqalotto had written.
A lot of the girls were told to not interact with anyone following that incident. But it is not only the cheerleaders. Low-profile Bollywood models also attend some of the “private special parties”. Police claimed that Brad Hodge and a couple of other Rajasthan Royals players had been asked to attend a party in the first week of April, which they eventually turned down.
“The board can keep track of the team parties. But private parties can be organised by anyone, and you can’t always keep track of all of them,” said a former player, who had attended parties in the first few seasons.
What is more disturbing is that some of the most popular players in the league are among the most notorious in those parties.