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Monday, December 22, 2014

the missing lunch at Gabba ~ for vegetarians Ishant Sharma & Raina

One goes out to good eateries for enjoying one’s lunch ….. but not the case of Ishant Sharma & Suresh Raina – downunder !!!!!!!

Lunch, an abbreviation of luncheon, is the all important meal taken  midday.   For Indians (especially South), breakfast is tiffin and full-fledged rice food is lunch. In hotels like Saravana Bhavan, Quick lunch and Mini-tiffin are quite a hit. Long before the invasion of international cuisine and even north Indian food, Madras was home to a network of hotels that served pure vegetarian fare rooted in the Udupi region of Karnataka.  So the tagline ‘Udupi Hotel’ became a  benchmark for quality.

In the 2nd Test at Gabba, Australia chasing a small target, wobbled but completed the game in the 4th day itself.  The debutant Captain Steve Smith walked away with MoM ~ besides the poor performance, Indians perhaps have to learn that there is no way they can outmatch Australians verbally or in aggression. 

With the onset of industrialization in the 19th century, male workers began to work long shifts at the factory, severely disrupting the age-old eating habits of the rural life.  You can only see in movies, wife bringing lunch to the workplace.  In good old times, workers would go home for lunch – not in cities where one travels many miles.  With the changing lifestyle, many cram eating in shortest duration as possible rather than eating and enjoying their food in the allotted hour. 

While most of us would talk about Cricket during our lunch time – it also obsesses the fan’s mind to know what would Cricketers eat for their lunch during a match.  Some prefer to eat very lightly if they are to bat immediately – not sure, whether ‘ducks and eggs’ would be regular items for the menu, especially for batsmen !

Yashpal Sharma was a strict vegetarian and reportedly had trouble in finding food of his choice in tours.  Sometimes, he would get good veg food from Indian fans living over there, but might be devoured by some others, who would feast on the available food too.  About a couple of months back, in the CLT20, MSD along with team had checked in Grand Kakatiya Hyderabad – reportedly the authorities did not accede to their eating Hyderabadi biriyani in the rooms,  served from Ambati Rayudu’s house . An enraged Captain and his mates checked out of the five-star hotel moving out to a rival hotel.  It was reported that BCCI officials who too had checked in the same hotel, cancelled and followed suit.  

Barely two weeks after mutually sharing the grief of Phillip Hughes' death, Indian team's relations with Cricket Australia is turning sour as pacer Ishant Sharma left the Gabba at lunch on the third day.  Queensland Times reports that the team was very unhappy about the food provided at Glenelg Oval for the two practice matches and the same was notified to the concerned authorities. However they did not make their grievance public as it was the time that the nation was in mourning after Hughes' tragedy.  The team was happy with the arrangements made for the first Test in Adelaide where South Australia Cricket Association arranged for an Indian chef to prepare food for the Indian team during the match.  But things have taken a turn for the worse here in Brisbane. On day three, proper vegetarian fare was not provided at lunch, as was noticed in the media room as well.

Two Indian players Ishant Sharma and Suresh Raina had to complain about the same. They then proceeded outside the stadium premises to procure proper vegetarian food for themselves, accompanied by ICC's personnel and team director Ravi Shastri.    QT quoting a source reports that there "wasn't enough vegetarian food to go around" and the players insisted on eating the food from Indian Mehfil ~ and on their return, they were told that food or beverages can't be brought inside the stadium. It is stated that the two players consumed their food sitting outside the Gabba stadium  and then returned to the dressing room. Raina isn't playing in this match, though Ishant is and he bowled for India on the third day.
photo credit : Queensland Times

Despite the incident being of unprecedented nature where one of the cricketers had left the venue in the middle of the match, ICC’s ACSU unit refused to make any comments in this regard.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

22nd Dec 2014.

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