Dropped European cheerleaders can be seen in Colombo

August 20th, 2008 - 5:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Aug 20 (IANS) European cheerleaders, withdrawn by Sri Lankan authorities from the second One-dayer against India after protests from various quarters, will be back in action in Colombo for the remaining three matches of the series, officials here said.”The cheerleaders who were brought from Europe by the sponsors (Tensports and Idea mobile phone) and put into action for the first match were dropped for the second as their actions don’t go well in Dambulla, a world heritage site,” Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) media manager Shane Fernando told IANS.

“But they will be back in action for the remaining three matches (at the R. Premadasa Stadium) in Colombo from Aug 24,” he said over the phone from Dambulla.

Scantily clad in glittering yellow dresses, the cheerleaders were keeping alive the low-scoring first One-dayer of the five-match at the Rangiri International stadium at Dambulla Monday.

Key leaders of the ruling coalition of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and opposition parties vehemently protested the presence of the cheerleaders.

Sri Lankan Minister of Cultural Affairs Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said he had asked organisers to drop the squad of 24 East European female cheerleaders citing cultural reasons.

“I am aware of the use of cheerleaders in the match to inspire spectators. But it is not in keeping with our traditions. I request the Cricket Board to drop the item immediately,” the minister said.

Dambulla, a small town located about 20 km from the Sigiriya rock fortress on the Sigriya-Kandy road, has over 80 caves in the vicinity. Some of these have been used by monks for meditation.

A major attraction in the area is the Dambulla Rock Temple, recognised by Unesco as a world heritage site.

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