Oct 27, 2009 at 09:06am IST

Sari-clad cheerleaders for Cuttack ODI

Bhubaneswar: Sari-clad cheerleaders will perform for the first time during the day and night one-day international cricket match between India and Sri Lanka December 21 at Barabati Stadium in Cuttack.

The cheerleaders will wear Sambalpuri saris -- the oldest form of the tie-and-dye handwoven textile -- and perform whenever a boundary is hit or a wicket falls, Orissa Cricket Association (OCA) secretary Ashirbad Behera told IANS.

"At least 15 Oriya girls between 18 and 20 would be selected for the purpose. They will be placed in three different parts of the stadium," he said.

CHEER WRAPPED IN SARIS: The cheerleaders will perform when a boundary is hit or a wicket falls.

"The girls will not wear short skirts as has been done in many other places because it would be against our culture and tradition. Our audience will not accept it. They will have modest traditional attire. They will be dressed as per our tradition and culture."

OCA has already placed an order to buy the saris from a state cooperative body, Behera added.

Music from superhit Oriya films or albums would be played in the background when the girls perform, he said.

OCA had thought of introducing similarly-clad cheerleaders during the day-night ODI between India and England November 26, 2008, but it cancelled the plan saying that it did not have adequate time to organise it.

Cricket first saw cheerleaders when business tycoon Vijay Mallya's IPL (Indian Premier League) team took the field in Twenty20 IPL championship last year.

The latest match will be the 16th day-night international to be played in Barabati, some 26 km from the state capital here. OCA has already begun preparations.

Behera said the stadium authorities are increasing the seating capacity from 35,000 to 45,000.

"For the first time, we are also creating an air-conditioned corporate box where at least 800 people can be accommodated," he said.

The players, match referees and officials would stay at hotel Mayfair Lagoon in Bhubaneswar. "We have already booked the hotel," he said.

Behera said a reception committee has been formed to look after all arrangements. The committee will soon meet Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and seek his help to provide adequate security for the match, he said.

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