Indian cheer squad wears traditional garb

July 22, 2011 at 3:26 PM

PUNE, India, July 22 (UPI) -- An Indian cricket team said it is "showcasing our national heritage" by employing cheerleaders dressed in full-length traditional clothing.

Abhijit Sarkar, director of the Pune Warriors, said the "cheer queens" revving up the crowds for the teams are dressed conservatively and use complex hand waves and traditional dances in the place of high kicks and splits, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

"The concept of cheer queens is an extraordinary way of showcasing our national artistic heritage to the world," Sarkar said.

However, the team has drawn some criticism for its unique approach to cheerleading, which only arrived in India about three years ago.

"It's Indian hypocrisy at its best," said Suhel Seth, head of consulting firm Counselage India. "This is a country of temples carved with erotica, that invented the Kama Sutra. Pretending to be squeamish about women is absurd."

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