BEFORE departing for India, I had friends and family passing on travel tips, advice and personal experiences. Some of it good, and some of it worrying. As this was my first trip overseas, I needed to take it all in. But with any challenge in life, I like to have an open heart, clear head and positive attitude. This was not just a holiday abroad, this was a job and nobody could prepare me to become a cricket-loving, cheerleading, IPL girl but me!
Already three weeks have passed and in that time I cannot believe how a group of normal girls can become instant celebrities! Each team of ten girls has a manager and we all receive strict instructions from them about safety, behaviour and reputation, as it seems girls from previous years did not heed the rule book!
For example, if people ask why we are in their country, we have to say that we are friends on holiday. The majority of Indians are cricket crazy, glued to their televisions, reading the papers, supporting their teams. So as the tournament kicked off, it became pretty obvious we were not telling the truth!
On our days off, we are free to explore and take in what India has to offer but its not always easy. You can just imagine, a group of fit, easy on the eye, western ladies cruising the congested busy streets…
To the citizens, we are practically like walking porn! All eyes are on you all the time; it is complete voyeurism. The women double take, see you and then pretend you do not exist. The men see your face, then your boobs, your butt, and then your boobs again! As we walk, all you hear is “IPL, IPL!” with a little head jingle!
Usually only after day matches there is an exclusive after party and at night is when it all happens. The music pumps, the drinks flow and the cricketers come and go. We mingle and associate with important people of the IPL wearing their finest and sexiest, sponsors of all sorts, media and fashion shows, even Indian MTV! But the real fun
happens in the VIP rooms where the players and night owls can cause scandal! The few Indian players we have met, such as MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma have been very polite and keep to themselves in the dark corners. Hotshots like Tendulkar with families at home are never present. The likes of Jonty Rhodes and Albie Morkel are notorious for having a good time with friends!
‘Ol Graeme Smith will flirt with anything while his girlfriend lurks behind him. The Aussies are fun but naughty, such as Aiden Blizzard and Dan Christian. By the end of a crazy evening, a certain someone had played kissing catchers with three girls known to me only, although he has his own girlfriend back home. He cooed to each girl, “Come home with me, I just want to cuddle!’
Oh, please! I have come to realise that cricketers are the most loose and mischievious sportsmen I have come across. Makes me wonder if I should worry about them more then the commoners on the street! I still have a long while here, so I shall keep my tip list in mind.
Tip number 1: ‘Beware of the cricketers!’