Sri Lankan cricket authorities have complained to organisers about cheerleaders at the World Twenty20 tournament after media criticism describing them as a “disgraceful eyesore”.
Nishantha Ranatunga, secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket, told AFP that fans had also provided “negative feedback” after lacklustre displays by the local performers, who lead celebrations when wickets are taken and boundaries scored.
“The impression created by these cheerleaders is not acceptable,” Ranatunga said yesterday. “We complained to the ICC (International Cricket Council) that this is harming the image of Sri Lanka.
“We had a lot of negative feedback which we passed on to the ICC as we had nothing to do with selecting the dance troupes.”
The dancers, who are dressed in blue leggings, striped skirts and T-shirts bearing advertising slogans, have been attacked in the Sri Lankan media for their amateur dancing and un-coordinated routines.
“The sorry performance of the so-called cheerleaders is not only a disgraceful eyesore, but has show-cased Sri Lanka in a poor light to the entire world,” the Daily Mirror said.
Event organisers said the contract for providing cheerleaders had been awarded to a foreign company which sub-contracted the work to a Sri Lankan firm.