Cuttack: The Orissa Cricket Association (OCA) on Wednesday decided to expunge the ‘cheer girl’ concept from the itinerary amid controversy over the issue. OCA had earlier decided to engage cheer girls with traditional attire like Sambalpuri sarees and display various movements of local folk dances as well as modern dances during drink intervals and lunch breaks, fall of wickets or when the ball is hit for a four or six in the match.
But some fringe political outfits and culture enthusiasts had raised eyebrows at OCA saying that the ‘cheer girl’ concept would hurt the sentiments of Oriyas. Activists of an outfit also threatened to mar the cricketing action if OCA goes ahead with the ‘cheer girl’ concept.
“So keeping all those things in mind, we decided not to go ahead with the cheer girl concept. We do not want to be mired in controversy, nor do we want to hurt sentiments of Oriyas,” OCA secretary Ashirbad Behera said after a preparatory meeting held here under the chairmanship of state Sports minister Prabin Kumar Bhanjdeo.
“We just want to concentrate on the smooth functioning of the cricket match. Nothing else beyond that,” Behera said.
Given the unpalatable situations, involving the attack on former Indian coach Greg Chappell in Bhubaneswar in past and recent attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Pakistan, the OCA does not want leave anything to chance.