India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

from India Insight:

Sari-clad cheerleaders add Indian touch to IPL franchise

The upcoming session of the Indian Premier League (IPL), India’s glamour-packed cricket tournament, will see a sartorial anomaly come to life -- cheerleaders wrapped in saris.

Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan’s IPL team, the Kolkata Knight Riders, has decided to cover their cheerleaders in one of the most traditional Indian outfits -- a marked departure from their 2008 wardrobe when a lot of skin, from midriff to thighs, was on display.

All these sari-clad cheerleaders would be “local hires” and will dance to classical Bengali music in between boundaries and fall of wickets. The team management is of the opinion this will help connect with Bengali cricket fans and improve ticket sales.

This is not the first time an IPL team has shunned short skirts and pompoms for a more conservative costume. Last year, the newest addition to the IPL franchise -- Pune Warriors -- had classical dancers, called ‘cheer queens’ in ethnic clothes. The owners had said these ‘cheer queens’ would showcase India’s rich and diverse culture on an international platform.