Admark’s Weblog

Cheering at the IPL

Posted on: May 31, 2008

A rare sight on a cricket ground leaves my 88 year old grand father rather flummoxed. He has never seen white women shaking their bon-bons on a cricket field wearing negligible amounts of clothing.

A hit for a six and he questions, “Why are they dancing around like that?”, my Uncle’s response, “Because the ball’s lost”.

Cheerleading has been prevalent since the 19th century. Wiki says the first organized recorded cheer was at Princeton University way back in 1884. Interestingly the writer also calls it a sport. No doubt that the ‘activity’ involves amazing levels of athletic agility but to an 88 year old man it looks like the next level of objectifying the female body. Okay stop with the groans, I shan’t go down that path considering a large chunk of IPL’s success can be accredited to these blanco chicas strutting their stuff during the best shots of the match. Only now instead of 3 shot replays they show just one, but then again who’s complaining? Certainly not the men (all ages included).

Let’s look at the marketing aspect of this ‘sport in sport’ showcase. The objective of cheerleaders is to rev up the crowd so that they cheer on the team. By the looks of it they do gather attention and get the heart beats racing. In the IPL context, the cheerleaders have given a more international(western) appeal to league. They define a part of the entertainment that makes up the term cricketainment. But are we as a country evolved enough to see these women purely as a cheer squad and not as a object of sex. The truth is that for men that would be hard to do, even in more sexually evolved countries of the west. The only difference is out there they do not react the way Indian men (white cheerleaders have complained of incessant leering from spectators) do simply cause objectifying women has been a mainstay in all entertainment for decades.

Does this mean that cheerleaders should be banned? Of course not! As a woman I do not appreciate the very obvious attraction these women provide but as a marketer they are simply giving the consumers what they want and raking in more moolah for the IPL promoters. All in all cheerleading is here to stay. One more import from the West that has helped IPL make a successful début. Love them or hate them you can’t ignore them especially if they means so much economically. Next to watch is the rise of Sports management agencies making Sport a more professional field in this country.

Now let’s just hope all this success it rubs off on other sports too!



2 Responses to "Cheering at the IPL"

Welcome Nik and I love Spanish. However I find myself asking this question –
Do the Chaukkas, Chakkaas and the wickets exhilerate the crowd or the gyrations of the cheerleaders? Or is it just a format requirement?
I don’t know.

“BOTH” would be a safe managerial answer to give…. i dont know if the format has such close tolerances that it REQUIRES anything but yea they fit in well since the 7 hr long version would certainly have been tough on them. But i do concede that its primarily the cricket people come for…with a nice added bonus in pretty packages 🙂
Thnx for the comment EH

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