Tuesday, April 22, 2008
By Paul Starick
It took just one week for a band of Australian cheerleaders to go from the NRL to the furious hype of the Indian Premier League.
On Sunday last week, Lisa Ince was at home, occupied by her usual job of choreographing cheerleaders for the Wests Tigers, Melbourne Storm and the St George Illawarra Dragons.
"The phone rang. The guy said: "Hello, I'm from India. I've heard you're the person in Australia to speak to about hiring cheerleaders," she said.
"I thought it was a joke .. but in an hour it was a done deal."The 12 cheerleaders, dressed in white tops, red tartan miniskirts and black knee-high boots, hail from Sydney and Melbourne.
Some found the near-40C heat overpowering and had to limit their routines, which they conduct on two podiums after every four, six and wicket.
They discovered they were going to India only last Monday, had Indian visas sorted out within the incredibly short time of one day and flew here on Friday.
They rehearsed during the past week.
"It was just crazy," Ince said.
She was immediately struck by the reception from the vast Eden Gardens crowd, which included typical wolf-whistling and wild "The girls are just really excited and the crowd is really behind them."
Melbourne Storm cheerleader Emily Runting said the crowd was "way bigger than the rugby and more noisy".
"I didn't know what to expect. It's huge. It's exciting," she said.
"It's way bigger than rugby league and more noisy."They all seem to like us."