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Cheerleader claims racist slur at IPL match

An organiser pulled us away and said the people here don't want to see dark people, says Newton.

  • IANS
  • Published: 23:53 May 23, 2008
  • Gulf News

London: One of the two black British cheerleaders allegedly prevented from performing at a Twenty20 match said she was called by the "N word," but cricket bosses declared action could only be taken if she complained.

A number of British newspapers Thursday carried the story about dancers Ellesha Newton, 22, and Sherinne Anderson, 25, claiming they were stopped from going on stage by organisers ahead of an Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket match in Mohali, Punjab.

Newton told the Sun newspaper: "An organiser pulled us away. He said the people here don't want to see dark people."

Outrage

"The 'N' word was used and they said they only wanted beautiful white girls. We were crying. I could understand if it were the crowd, but they were very receptive."

Anderson, 25, added: "This kind of thing has never happened to us - not in Europe, not here, nowhere.

"We were offended. This shouldn't be happening - especially after they made such a fuss over Big Brother."

British celebrity Jade Goody was accused of making racist remarks about Indian film actress Shilpa Shetty in the reality show Celebrity Big Brother last year, causing outrage in India.

Organisers of the Mohali match denied any knowledge of the incident.

Meanwhile, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said a probe would be initiated by the IPL only if the two women officially complain to IPL commissioner Lalit Modi.

"We have not received any complaint from any cheerleaders that they were asked to leave by the Mohali-based Kings XI Punjab franchise recently because of the colour of their skin," BCCI joint secretary M.P. Pandove said in Mohali.

BCCI and IPL officials are surprised that the two cheerleaders did not complain about the alleged racist behaviour while they were in India and spoke about it only after they returned to London.

Gulf News