The Indian cricket team has reportedly informed ICC, albeit unofficially, about their unhappiness with the ‘cold food and sandwiches’ served after their practice sessions in Sydney ahead of the T20 World Cup match against the Netherlands on Thursday. After beating arch-rivals Pakistan in a riveting contest on Sunday in front of more than 90 thousand people at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Rohit Sharma-led side has travelled to Sydney for their next Super 12 stage game but if reports are to be believed then they have not received the warmest of welcomes, at least in terms of food.
“The food that was offered to Team India was not good. They were just given sandwiches and they have also told ICC that food provided after a practice session in Sydney was cold and not good,” a BCCI source was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
It is learnt that the after-practice food included custom sandwiches along with fruits and falafel (very common in this part of the world).
With the training getting over nearly by afternoon, it was lunch time and perhaps players were expecting a full-course meal.
In protest, most of the top Indian cricketers decided to skip lunch at the venue, headed back to the hotel for a meal of their choice.
“It’s not like any boycott… Some players did pick up fruits and falafel but everyone wanted to have lunch and hence they had food going back to the hotel,” a BCCI official privy to the development told PTI on the condition of anonymity.
Notably, International Cricket Council (ICC) is providing food and lodging during the T20 World Cup 2022, unlike in bilateral series, where the host association is in charge of the hospitality.
“The problem is that the ICC isn’t providing any hot food after lunch. In a bilateral series, the host association is in charge of catering and they always provide hot Indian meals after a training session. But for ICC, the rule is the same for all countries,” the official further said.
“You can’t just have a cold sandwich (not even grilled) with avocado, tomato and cucumber after two hours of training. That is plain and simple inadequate nourishment,” he added.
On Tuesday, most of the Indian players sweat it out at the Sydney Cricket Ground despite being an optional session. All the fast bowlers were rested alongside all-rounder Hardik Pandya, batter Suryakumar Yadav and spinner Axar Patel were rested.
According to an official update from the BCCI on Tuesday, there was not supposed to be any net session on the eve of the match but reports have now emerged that the reason for India not practising on Wednesday was the venue, which was approximately 45 minutes away from their team hotel.
“Team India did not do practice sessions as it was offered a practice venue in Blacktown (In sub-urbs of Sydney) so they refused because that is appropriately 45 minutes away from Team Hotel where they are staying,” the BCCI source told ANI.