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Monday, February 1, 2021

Wishing Dada to get well sooner .. .. did some Indian players breach bio-bubble !!

A nice sand art work by - Sudarsan Pattnaik at Puri Beach, Odisha  – wishing Dada to get well soon ..

BCCI president and former India captain  famous opener - Sourav Ganguly underwent  angioplasty and is stable now after suffering a heart attack.  "Ganguly was diagnosed with three blocked coronary arteries after which a stent was inserted in one to remove the blockage," Dr Saroj Mondal, whose team performed the procedure at Woodlands Hospital, said.

How far would one go out for lunch .. there are people who would travel in hot Sun or rain for a good meal .. especially when away from home !  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.


A few years ago, in 2014, 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 had 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.  A few years ago, 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 turned  sour as pacer Ishant Sharma left the Gabba at lunch on the third day.  Queensland Times reported 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.   At Brisbane test 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 reported 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.   

Now another luncheon news !  ..  Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw and Navdeep Saini have been placed in isolation as a precaution pending investigation into a video posted on Twitter that purportedly showed the group eating in an indoor restaurant in Melbourne. The players will be allowed to continue training but not with the rest of the group. The statement released by Cricket Australia said the action was taken in consultation with both the boards' medical units but didn't expressly state if it was a breach of biosecurity protocols to eat at an indoor venue outside the team hotel. Nor did it say what the course of action will be if it is indeed a breach of protocols.

A Twitter post by a fan of Indian origin claimed he had spotted the five India players eating at the same restaurant as him. He said he had paid for the cricketers' food unbeknownst to them. An initial tweet claimed that Pant hugged the fan when he found out that the food had been paid for, but that tweet was retracted later, with the fan stating that Pant never hugged him, and that he had gotten carried away in excitement when tweeting previously.

"In the interim, on the advice of the Australian and Indian medical teams, the aforementioned players have been placed in isolation as a precaution," the release said. "This will include separating the group of players from the broader Indian and Australian squads when traveling and at the training venue. "Players will be permitted to train in accordance with the strict protocols that have been put in place to ensure the ongoing safety of all members of the Indian and Australian squads. Similar measures were taken during the BBL this season after it was determined two Brisbane Heat players failed to comply with tournament biosecurity protocols."

It is not yet clear if India agreed to the same protocols, but Australia players are required to eat only at outdoor venues in public places. The teams have been training in Melbourne even though the next Test is scheduled to be in Sydney. While CA is confident the Sydney Test will go ahead as scheduled, a last-minute change of venue owing to the recent Covid-19 outbreak and the consequent closing of borders between New South Wales and other states cannot be ruled out.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

02.01.2021 @ 11pm.


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