First it was the purists decrying the dastardly practice of paying cricketers real money--though only a pittance compared with the sums paid to professional athletes in baseball, basketball, football and soccer. Now the BBC has even weighed in--against the bastardization of the game with cheerleaders, fireworks, music, Bollywood stars, and other fanfare.
Though I have to say there's something especially sleazy about the cheerleaders--perhaps because they had to be imported from foreign shores since no local woman would be caught dead with her tits out on national TV--and notwithstanding my general loathing for the monopolist tactics of the BCCI... I have to say that I love the Indian Premier League--pompous name or not. I don't care about the hoopla. I never watch Extraaaaaa Innings anyway, so I don't see much of it. But the games are fun, and it's refreshing to see the mix of international players on each side.
No, it's not because I'm an American and I can't sit through a One Day International or even (gulp) a Test. I've been known to watch a whole series at one go. And no, CNN/IBN, there are no cheerleaders in baseball, even in the debauched USA. Only football and basketball. And only in the pro games do they look and perform like a dance team selected from the country's top strip clubs. In college, they're a bit more like gymnasts, and the terribly short skirts can remain a tasteful nod to so-called "necessity"--like in women's tennis--so that dry-mouthed leches can retain their veneer of respectability.