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South African cheerleader's abrupt expulsion exposes IPL underbelly

Thursday, 12 May 2011 - 3:27am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

The 22-year-old Pasqualotto was deported back to South Africa by the Indian Premier League authorities after a cricketer complained against her blogging.

Gabriella Pasqualotto is not going to be out of the headlines so soon. She is not done with India, Mumbai Indians, Indian Premier League and, of course, the ‘naughty’ cricketers. She is coming out with her side of the whole story. Soon.

The news from her hometown Pietermaritzburg in South Africa is that she has sold her story to a local newspaper. When it will appear could not be immediately confirmed but the story will hit the stands sooner than later.

So, we might soon know how Graeme Smith flirts with girls “while his girlfriend walks behind him”, how naughty are the Aussies and the cricketer who wanted to ‘cuddle’ the cheer girls of the Mumbai Indians. As she mentioned in her blog The Secret Diary of an IPL Cheerleader: “These cricketers are the most loose and mischievous I have come across. I have a long while still here, so I must remember my tip list: Beware of the cricketers!”

The 22-year-old Pasqualotto was deported back to South Africa by the Indian Premier League authorities after a cricketer complained against her blogging. You never know she may reveal which cricketer has in fact gone to IPL governing council chairman.

People close to Pasqualotto have decided not to speak further till her story is out. Calls and messages to her are being diverted to her mother who, local media said, wants her lawyer to handle the questions. But reports suggest that Pasqualotto is contemplating legal action for being abruptly sent home.
“I wrote what I experienced as a cheerleader. But I am considering taking legal action because I feel that I was fired over something small and silly,” Pasqualotto was quoted as saying in a report from South Africa.

“I also think that the situation was handled unprofessionally.” Pasqualotto was one of the 40 South African girls brought to India for cheerleading for 8,000 rands for the season.

The Pasqualotto episode has exposed the underbelly of the IPL that is not necessarily about cricket alone. Behind all that glitz, glamour, cheerleading, there are parties, drinks, champagne and, of course, sleaze. Pasqualotto herself admitted: “Cricketers are not so innocent at the match after-parties. The cheergirls are treated like pieces of meat.”

It is understood that the cheerleading squads are not exactly well-behaved ladies. Some squads have about five managers handling them. The managers generally escort them wherever they go but still these girls manage to sneak out alone. At the parties, the girls were often seen drunk and the barmen made sure they always had drinks in their hands.

Some of them are seen at the cricketers’ hotels. The talk is one Australian is bedding a cheerleader and he complained about Pasqualotto’s blog and got her sent home. The more insight about this particular cricketer is that he was flirting with three girls while his ‘official’ girlfriend is back home.

The Mumbai Indians spokesman said the decision was taken by the IPL and the DNA Network with whom the cheerleaders are contracted. None from IPL was immediately available for comment while a DNA Network staff said she would come back on this matter but did not.

Sources now indicate that Pasqualotto is trying to get the IPL to pay her for the rest of the tour. Had she not been deported, she would have earned R8,000. Her family lawyer is examining her contract with the IPL, which threw her out for violating the ‘privacy’ clause. It is understood that there no privacy clause in her contract regarding blogging. She was only told not to speak to the Indian media while cheerleading but there was no mention of blogging/tweeting.

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