New Delhi: Move over cheer girls. Here come our own bhangra boys to add a desi flavour to the Indian Premier League (IPL).
GMR, owners of Delhi Daredevils, replaced the cheer girls with the bhangra boys as the entertainment value for the crowd when Delhi Daredevils took on Bangalore Royal Challengers at a packed Feroze Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi on Wednesday.
The IPL franchise owners roped in the skimpily clad cheerleaders from the European countries at the start of the tournament, giving a western touch to the IPL. The girls were an instant hit with the spectators.
The moral police in India, though, woke up to the cheergirls being against the cultural ethos of the country. With politicians and social activists joining the fray, the controversy over the concept of cheerleaders frothed over.
GMR Wednesday quickly changed its tack in 'critainment' - cricket soaked in entertainment - and brought in a group of 30 bhangra boys, who did not disappoint the predominantly Punjabi crowd packing the Kotla.
Not only the spectators but Daredvils' brand ambassador and Bollywood star Akhsay Kumar accompanied them and danced to their energetic beat. Singer Kailash Kher performed his top chartbusters to enthuse the spectators.
Akshay also sat in the dugout of Daredevils and cheered for the home team.
The cheergirls of the visiting Royal Challengers - the famous Red Skins of Washington - were, however, present. The skin show was cut down, though.
The girls did not get much to cheer about as Daredevils' batsman Gautam Gambhir came down heavily on the Royal Challengers' bowlers.
The only time the girls cheered was when Gambhir departed after scoring 86 off 54 balls.
Royal Challengers also had their brand ambassador Katrina Kaif with them.