Cricketers and their female fansMy grandfather and his elder brother watched the first test cricket match held in Eden Gardens, Calcutta way back in 1934. They came from Dist. Faridpur (now in Bangladesh) and from Rangoon (now Yangon) to Calcutta to watch this test match. My father was a regular spectator in Eden during fifties and early sixties. I first got the opportunity to enjoy test cricket in majestic Eden in 1978 when I just crossed 11. From my elders I have heard that fan following and use of placard for cricketers have been witnessed even before independence.
During the first phase of Indian test cricket, Vijay Merchant, Mustaq Ali and Lala Amarnath were immensely popular among ladies. During the fifties, Dattu Fadkar, Bapu Nadkarni, Prabir Sen were very popular among women spectators. During sixties and early seventies, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, Abbas Ali Baig and EAS Prasanna and Faroukh Engineer had huge fan followings. Gopal Bose, the bespectacled opener of Bengal, was also very popular. In late seventies, Sandeep Patil was a very popular cricketer. Placards which were objectionable from the point of view of standard of those ages could be regularly seen in the stadia.
So, placards expressing love for cricketers is not a new phenomenon. The regular spectators have been witnessing this for for last eighty years or so.