Times of India
MUMBAI, Apr 28: Hitting out at the use of cheerleaders in the field to 'seduce' crowd, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Monday said the sanctity of cricket has been lost as the promoters have turned the stadium into a dance bar.
"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 in the field. However, now things are changing with the bringing of cheergirls to seduce the crowd," the Sena chief said in an editorial in the party mouthpiece Samana .
Thackeray, who is the editor-in-chief of Samana , said when cricketers like Polly Umrigar, Dilip Sardesai, Ajit Wadekar, Salim Durrani and Sunil Gavaskar used to play in the field, the whole stadium used to become "cheerful". Nobody that time ever felt the need to bring dancers, he added.
He said that one does not know whether people are coming to watch the cricket or to see the cheergirls in the IPL.
Thackeray also questioned Maharashtra government's reluctance to stop, the "dance" when farmers in parts of Maharashtra were committing suicides.
"At a time when farmers in Vidarbha and Marathwada region are committing suicide because they are burdened by debts, it is not clear what the people, who are pumping money to bring cheergirls, want to convey," said Thackeray.
He also criticised Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, saying he has failed to tackle the spate of farmer's suicide in the state.