Indian Premier League is more than just a cricketing tournament. It is a grand party with the best fusion of Sports, entertainment and Bollywood. One of the most talked about entertainment factor is the presence of Cheerleaders for every franchise which adds glamour to this already hot tournament.
Everybody loves the cheerleaders performing every time there is a Four, Six or a wicket. You can’t just ignore them. Many people wants to know everything about their favourite cheerleader, from their lifestyle to their salaries. That’s where we come in between. Often, there are also controversies surrounding them.
Gabriella Pasqualotto, a South African cheerleader was kicked out of IPL 4 for blogging and tweeting anonymously about post-match parties and cricketers’ off-field antics. Since then many cheerleaders have dropped bombs on the IPL.
Two years ago, an anonymous IPL cheerleader did a AMA in Reddit, where she voluntarily took a range of questions on her life as a cheerleader in India. Read what she has to say about the creeps and the behaviour towards her in and out of the field.
1. They get stared at and things thrown at them regularly- and they definitely don’t like it
During their stay in India, they came to know that India isn’t very clean without ever stepping out into the streets to discover that. The anonymous cheerleader claimed during AMA, “We sometimes get trash thrown at us. I just ignore it”.
But ignoring the relentless staring and unchecked sexual harrasment from the crowd. “I put a blank stare on for the most part when I’m facing the crowd. There’s just so many nasty men making kissy faces and taking my picture that I tend to just block it all out,” the cheerleader added.
2. They definitely don’t like the idea of only white cheerleaders.
Everyone must have noticed by now that the cheerleaders in the IPL are only white and according to the cheerleaders this is one thing they don’t like about their job. “I hate the racism. Why do Indians feel it’s ok to dress white girls up in skimpy outfits but they won’t let their fellow Indian women do it?
It’s messed up.” And there was a little more truth: “Sadly, there’s nothing I can do about that. If I refuse I’d be breaking my contract and they’d replace me with another white girl anyway. I went into this contract as a dancer, [but I’m] finding that I’m treated more as a sex object…I enjoy what I do regardless. But I wouldn’t renew this contract for another year unless things changed.”
3. They are not allowed to socialize with the cricketers.
During the AMA, many people wanted to know down and dirty details on after parties and fraternizing with cricketers and even asked if the players ever hit on them.
The Anonymous cheerleader replied:”No, they ignore us for the most part. We’re not allowed to talk to each other.”
4. Many of them are well educated and have fancy degrees.
Contrary to the popular belief and pop culture trope of airhead cheerleaders given to us by the American movies, there are many IPL cheerleaders who actually have college degrees, the IPL cheerleader who did the AMA actually has a university graduation degree and studied anthropology.
5. They do not have choreographed dance moves and routine for most part.
We may look them as differently, but cheerleaders see themselves as dancers rather than sports enthusiasts. They are not interested in Basketball, Cricket or even American Football, where they earned their pom-poms. When asked about her rehearsals pre-match, she replied, “We have two set routines for fours and sixes. The rest we make up.”
6. They don’t really like their short and flashy costumes.
For many people, watching the white cheerleaders, showing their moves in short costumes must be eye-candid. But when the AMA cheerleader was asked about the itchy, short costumes, she said, “”Oh my goodness, the costumes are the biggest drama, I liked our old ones but apparently the boss’ 13-year-old daughter decided she wants to be a designer and designed our new outfits.”
The sponsor took one look at the first `draft’, that itchy one with the yellow frills, and didn’t let us go out. We’ve been through 3 different cheer outfits and I still hate the final.
7. They were put in the cheap hotels with terrible changing rooms
They were not being provided with the best hospitality. She said, “If I were back in the US, I’d be shocked at the state of our toilets, changing rooms and on occasion our hotel rooms,” She said, during the first two games, she saw cockroaches and a big rat.
“We realized our manager for that trip had been skimping us and pocketing the money he was saving on a cheaper hotel.
Now they’re more like 3-star. Perfectly comfortable but not over the top,” she added.