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May 20, 2008 at 04:52pm IST

Blacked out: All's not fair for IPL cheerlead

New Delhi: First it was the skimpy outfits of cheerleaders, then the Bhajji-Sreesanth slap row and then the Ganguly-Warne spat — it seems as if controversies and the Indian Premier League go hand in hand.

It has not even been a few weeks since the slap row died down, that the cheerleaders have raised another stink in the already clash-ridden league. This time, it is over their skin tone.

Two cheerleaders from London were allegedly asked to leave the Mohali ground by event management company, Wizcraft, because they had a darker skin colour.

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However, Wizcraft denies the charge. The CEO of Wizcraft, Sabbas Joseph has told CNN-IBN that the girls were contracted for just one day of work.

One of the cheerleaders, Ellesha Newton, allegedly told The Telegraph: “It was okay when we reached the stadium. It was when we were going to take our positions that some of Wizcraft’s employees asked us to leave. We were surprised and asked them why and they told us it was because of the colour of our skin.”

The Telegraph quoted the director of Fierce Performance Production, Jorge Aldana as saying that the incident took place before the Kings XI’s first match at Mohali on April 19 against the Chennai Super Kings.

Fierce Performance Production is the company that had brought the girls from London.

Aldana was quoted by The Telegraph as saying: "I found Ellesha and Sherinne Anderson — whom I had recruited as part of a team of 12 — in tears when I reached the ground."

"Sherinne and Ellesha were in a state of shock and crying outside the ground. I called them and asked them what was the matter and they told me that a guy from Wizcraft had forbidden them from entering the ground," Aldana was further quoted by The Telegraph as saying.

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