Indian team colours its boys with body paints for World Cup


New Delhi : Art and cricket have merged in a novel campaign to take the game and its cult heroes to the masses in the run-up to the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup for Pepsico India, the main sponsor of the Cup.

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The campaign, to run across all media domains from Jan 15, will feature popular cricketers sporting their favourite colours on their bodies in intricately painted body art.

Every art work has been themed and captioned to suit the personality of the wearer and his style of play according to ancient Chinese and Indian astrology, where each colour of the seven rainbow shades bears an astro-significance.

The glamour boy from Jharkhand and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will flaunt the “fire in the belly look” to symbolise his high-spirited game and body language on the field.

Fire is a symbol of power, passion, aggression and destruction. Dhoni’s colour palette will be a peppy mosaic of blue, green, yellow and orange. The pattern does not incorporate his contribution to the pitch but conveys a graphic image of a blazing fire in his belly and his desire to win.

Spin bowler Harbhajan Singh will wear the “fiery ball” to gel with his vigour and attitude. The graphic image of the ball on his body is symbolic of his strength on the field and an explosion of red light at the tail of the ball reflects the aggression with which he commands situations on the pitch.

Flamboyant opener Virender Sehwag will flaunt a “moving star” on his body. The star is Sehwag personified on the wicket telling the way he tackles the ball on the ground. It defines the brute force, nifty footwork and the sure-fire batting style of the ace batsman.

“Directed arrows” will capture the persona of Suresh Raina, the young southpaw, when on the field. The shooting set of arrows will show his magical power to hit the ball the way he pleases. The different sizes of the arrows project his growth in the game of cricket over the years.

Middle-order batsman Virat Kohli will sport the “fast forward” look made of two solid triangles that replicate to represent his high-speed, energetic and exuberant movements on the pitch.

The creator of the look, Santosh Padhi, the chief creative officer and co-founder of Taproot India said the body paint campaign was an attempt to bring alive the “passion that the cricketers have for the game”.

The executive vice-president of marketing, PepsiCo India, Sandeep Singh Arora, said: “Cricket is more than just a game in India, it is like a faith and its followers include millions of passionate young Indians. With our campaign, we wanted to reflect the same fervour and energy that the fans and the players have and what can be more passionate than wearing it on your body.”

Body art over the last decade has become a rage in India and the sub-continent with the tattoo culture catching among the GenNext. The most common forms of body art in India are tattoos and body piercing.

India, however, owes its body art lineage to the ancient Kathakali and Kudiyattam traditions of performing arts in Kerala that make use of elaborate facial make-up in different colours to symbolise the personalities of the mythical characters in which the plays were based on.

Historically, green, blue, red, black and yellow are the most prevalent colours used in Indian body art.