Mumbai/Kolkata: The U.S.-style cheerleaders at IPL matches got no respite from criticism on Monday with Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray saying the cricket field has been turned into a dance bar to “seduce” the crowd while the Bengali film industry dubbed the spectacle as “disgusting and farcical.”

“I am a lover of good sports and music. It is the secret of my cheerfulness. I have a special affinity towards cricket. But till now only cricket was played on the field. However, now things are changing with the bringing of cheer girls to seduce the crowd,” the Sena chief said in an editorial in the party mouthpiece Samana. He said when cricketers such as Polly Umrigar, Dilip Sardesai, Ajit Wadekar, Salim Durrani and Sunil Gavaskar used to go on the cricket field, the whole stadium used to become “cheerful.” Nobody felt the need to bring dancers. But now one does not know whether people are coming to watch the cricket or to see the cheer girls, he said adding it had degenerated cricket.

Mr. Thackeray also questioned the Maharashtra government’s reluctance to stop the “naked dance”.— PTI

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