England star Kevin Pietersen will have a bunch of “naughty’ and “hottie” cheerleaders rooting from the sidelines when he makes his Indian Premier League debut on Saturday.
Pietersen, bought by the Bangalore Royal Challengers for a record US$1.55 million, will clash with good friend Shane Warne’s Rajasthan Royals on the opening night in Cape Town, South Africa.
The Royal Challengers, owned by flamboyant liquor and airline tycoon Vijay Mallya, had hired the Washington Redskins cheerleaders for the inaugural IPL season last year in India.
The scantily clad girls obviously failed to inspire, as the Royal Challengers finished seventh out of eight teams in the glitzy Twenty20 tournament.
So Mallya dropped the Redskins and hired 24 members of the US-based Varsity cheerleader group for the second season, renaming them the “White Mischief Gals.”
“A little bit naughty, a little more hottie and a lot more mischievous,” a Mallya company release said of the group, named after his “White Mischief” brand of vodka.
“Necklines plunging, hemlines rising, they are all set to let the mercury soar, higher than any of the sixes that come from the blades of Kevin Pietersen,” the press release said.
The cheerleaders, the release added, have been “specially trained in flirty acrobatic skills for a scintillating on-field performance.”
The use of cheerleading squads last year provoked complaints from some conservative quarters in India.
The Mumbai Indians forced their cheerleaders to don pants instead of skirts after protests from political parties.
The White Mischief Gals will travel across South Africa for all Royal Challenger matches during the five-week tournament, offering fans “flirtatious messages and tips,” the statement said.
Pietersen will only enjoy their support for the first two weeks, as he is due to return to England early next month to prepare for the Test series against the West Indies.