South African cheerleader Gabriella Pasqualotto has become an internet sensation and a mini-celebrity back home after being kicked out of the IPL for secretly blogging on player behavior in post-match parties. The 22-year-old Gabriella, from Pietermaritzburg, was one of the 40 South African cheerleaders in the IPL and was employed by Mumbai Indians. She reportedly wrote about “flirtatious” and “inappropriate” behavior by the cricketers and even mentioned some of them. South African media reported that her blogs created “privacy concerns” for the players.
Gabriella told the press she believed many cheerleaders had intimate relations with cricketers and accused her employers of being “hypocritical”. Reports suggest she was sacked after a cricketer and another cheerleader complained to the IPL chairperson.
“On Tuesday last week I was sent home as if I was a criminal. I was treated as if I had taken drugs or done something awful and I was never offered an opportunity to give my side of the story,” Gabriella told the Witness. “It’s a joke. There are cameras everywhere at these after-parties watching what they (the players) got up to. The guys treated us like pieces of meat. We couldn’t go anywhere without the crowds mobbing us and many of the girls did not behave. But nothing I wrote was directed at any one person. I think the cricketers who complained had a guilty conscience.”
Gabriella initially began to tweet comments about her experiences at the after-parties, and was then approached by a website to write a blog. After two posts created a sensation, she was sacked.
One of her posts stated, “We are practically like walking porn. 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!”
Already, support for Pasqualotto has been gathering steam on Twitter, forcing Cricket South Africa media officer Michael Owen-Smith to state that SA cricketers were expected to adhere to the board’s code of conduct.
Another post which she was forced to remove states: “The men see your face, then your b***s, then your a**, then your b***s again, Ol’ Graeme Smith will flirt with anyone while his girlfriend walks behind him. The Australian cricketers are naughty, a certain someone played kissing catches with three girls. He told them, ‘Come to my room, I want to cuddle’.”
However, she was all praise for a few Indian players: “The few Indian players we have met, such as MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma have been very polite and keep to themselves in the dark corners.
“Hotshots like Tendulkar with families at home are never present. The likes of Jonty Rhodes and Albie Morkel are notorious for having a good time with friends!”
Pasqualotto, who lost a month’s earnings, around 8000 rand, now says, “People think you are like handmaidens to the cricket gods, and I’m thrown out for a silly blog.” Graeme Smith’s agent Craig Livingstone refused to comment.