England to Take Own Chef on India Tour to Avoid Illness: Precautionary Measure for Player Well-being

England will take their chef on tour to India later this month to try and avoid players falling ill during the seven-week trip. The chef will join the squad in Hyderabad before the first Test on January 25 in an attempt to keep on top of the players’ nutrition.

England will take their chef on tour to India later this month to try and avoid players falling ill during the seven-week trip. The chef will join the squad in Hyderabad before the first Test on January 25 in an attempt to keep on top of the players’ nutrition. England took a chef to Pakistan last winter and it was deemed a big success even though many players, and the chef himself, went down with food poisoning on the eve of the first Test in Islamabad. England insists it has nothing to do with not trusting hotels to provide clean facilities and is instead about ensuring players, especially those who refuse to eat spicy food, are eating nutritious meals rather than filling up on energy bars and pizzas. Omar Meziane, the chef who was with the team in Pakistan and now works for Manchester United, was a popular addition to the touring squad, and the good mood in the camp was reflected by results on the field with England winning the Test series 3-0. Meziane prepared all the food at hotels and lunches on the grounds. It is common for top football teams and international rugby sides to take their chefs on overseas trips, but England is the first to do so in cricket.

It does run the risk of offending their hosts with England staying at good hotels and India boasting some of the best chefs in the world, but it is unlikely the BCCI will object, especially as the chef will be paid for by the ECB. Head coach Brendon McCullum is very wary of letting outsiders into the team bubble but has agreed to the chef being added to a backroom team that has slimmed down considerably on his watch. It is a far cry from India tours of the past when England players were known to fill their kit bags with tinned food from home in a bid to avoid illness. Now the players stay in five-star luxury and Western food is ubiquitous. It also highlights the difference between the richer and poorer nations. England can afford to take a chef on tour while the West Indies are not …