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In my first post on the EFLI I jokingly mentioned cheerleading at the very end, and got a comment from Adil of the EFLI about the remark (I did email him, but never heard back). Recently I noticed that they've added an EFLI Cheerleaders Facebook page. There's no real information on it yet, just a comment that women interested in being an EFLI cheerleader should leave a comment and watch the page for updates.
It seems like they should be able to find some young ladies who would give it a try for some travel and adventure, but their approach is far too dodgy looking at the moment. They really should put more details out so it doesn't look so fly-by-night.
As I pointed out in my follow-up post The current state of Indian cheerleading, cheerleading in India has a bit of a checkered history. Cheerleading was first brought the the Indian Premier League cricket fans by bringing in the Washington Redskins cheerleaders for an exhibition. Then many teams formed their own squads.
While cheerleading was well received by the male fans, in some cases perhaps too enthusiastically well received, among conservative members of Indian society it was frowned upon. The above pictures are of two squads that performed at the same match, the top dressed in the more risque American style, while the bottom squad has been adjusted for more conservative Indian tastes. As the LA Times article, In India, 'cheer queens' opt for saris, explains:
Can sari-clad "cheer queens" stand up to short-skirted pom-pom girls?
That's a question Indian cricket fans are pondering after a team here introduced a cheerleading squad wrapped head to toe in traditional garb, its members eschewing high kicks and splits for complex hand waves and traditional dance steps.
"The concept of cheer queens is an extraordinary way of showcasing our national artistic heritage to the world," says Abhijit Sarkar, director of the Pune Warriors.
Others say it's a nice idea, done somewhere else.
"If you want fine arts, go to a hall," said cricket columnist Ayaz Memon.
Cheerleading arrived in India three years ago with the inception of a shorter, more TV-friendly form of cricket, a three-hour version of a game that, in its purest form, lasts five days with breaks for tea.
To attract audiences to the glitzy new Indian Premier League, organizers drew on an age-old principle — sex sells — and introduced U.S.-style cheerleaders in bikinis, miniskirts and high boots.
Many male fans welcomed the idea. But right-wing, religious and feminist groups quickly condemned it as "vulgar," "walking porn" and "frivolous eye candy" in a nation where, Kama Sutra aside, sensuality is not frequently discussed or displayed in public.
The fact that at least half the cheerleaders were foreigners, including several members of the Washington Redskins cheerleading squad with short skirts and what the Hindustan Times described as "teeny-weeny blouses," only fueled the kerfuffle.
They're "worse than bar dancers," complained Maharashtra state minister Siddharam Mhetre. "Mothers and daughters watch these matches and it does not look nice."
In other EFLI news they've released pictures from one of their scrimmages in full pads and with contact. They're looking good. You can more pictures after the jump.
|Ooof. Nice hit on the ball carrier, but the defender should use his arms to wrap up the tackle.|
|The offense spreads the field with 4 wideouts, but the defense still has 10 men close to the line. I'm guessing that this is going to be a passing league.|
|Nice stretch to catch the ball. I wonder if he controlled it when he hit the ground?|
|A view of the trenches|
|A badly whiffed tackle|
|Those fellows in the yellow look spiffy -- Go Swarm Go!!!|