Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

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.

from India Insight:

IPL Kochi on its way out?

A policeman stands guard at one of the entrances to a cricket stadium during a match in the IPL tournament in Kolkata April 19, 2010. REUTERS/Parth Sanyal/Files
It's intriguing arithmetic. After adding two new franchises to its stable, the Indian Premier League now runs the serious risk of going into its fourth edition with seven cricket teams, one less than the original eight.

In that March 21 news conference in Chennai, Lalit Modi, still one month away from a dramatic dumping, was doing what he does best -- reeling off mindboggling numbers.

from India Insight:

Privatise the Commonwealth Games?

A labourer stands in front of boards advertising the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi September 23, 2010. REUTERS/Mansi ThapliyalThere are two reports today that say everything about the fiasco of the Commonwealth Games. On the one hand, while Delhi government cleaners are apparently refusing to clean the toilets at the Games village because they were so "nauseating", the Games organisers are calling in the help of some luxury private hotels, including the Taj and Oberoi, to help with hygiene.

There you have it. After nearly four years in India, most of the positive headlines I have read have come from the can-do attitude of Indian business or the energy of non-government grassroots organisations. The negative has mostly come from rafts of stories of the Indian state - the skimming of billions of dollars, the failure of basic health and education services.

Will India as No.1 team prove the tonic for test cricket?

Photo

India’s crushing 2-0 series win over Sri Lanka to become the number one ranked test team for the first time has triggered huge celebrations across the cricket-crazy nation.

The hosts, ranked number three, leapfrogged leaders South Africa and the second-ranked Sri Lanka to become the first team other than Australia or the Proteas to head the list.

More frustration for Flintoff, and for England fans

Photo

flintoff

Freddie Flintoff breaks down playing IPL cricket and needs an operation on his knee, news that comes as no great surprise to cricket fans, at least if twitterers on the subject are a good guide.

“Flintoff crocked again. Honestly, I’ve won more robust things at the fairground,” said theskiver in a fairly typical comment.

  •