Melbourne. After Ishant Sharma and Suresh Raina were forced to leave the Gabba during the Second Test to forage for decent quality vegetarian food, the BCCI today confirmed that Australian bowler, Peter Siddle, would be joining the squad as full time chef.
The paceman, famous for his non-meat diet, said he was “thrilled and delighted” to have been given the role, and was looking forward to trying out some of his spicy soya cutlets on Murali Vijay.
Speaking from Melbourne, India head coach Ravi Shastri, who had also accompanied the two ravenous players on their search for culinary satisfaction in Brisbane, explained the decision: “For me, the fact that no decent quality food was available for our guys was the biggest insult to Indian cricket since Peter Moores gave Jaddu a signed photo of Jimmy Anderson for his birthday. Peter Siddle is a cool customer in the kitchen and, importantly, has got a bit of time on his hands due to this big man Hazlewood. As a team we’re so thrilled he’ll be our cook. The new potatoes will be crucial.”
Although the move was broadly welcomed by observers, some warned Siddle that he’d have his work cut out to meet the exacting standards required by team captain, MS Dhoni.
“Everyone knows how MS can be if he doesn’t get his food exactly as he specifies,” said a BCCI insider. “In fact, he actually wanted Rayudu’s mother to take up the role – he loves her biryanis – but Ambati vetoed her appointment because he’s still bitter about that T20I against England back in the summer. ‘If you starve me of the strike, I’ll starve you of my mum’s home cooking,’ he said. It got so heated they had to be pulled apart by Virat and Shikhar, apparently.”
Siddle himself said he was relieved to finally be involved with a nation that didn’t believe you have to eat steak for breakfast in order to bowl a cricket ball.
“When I missed a match against South Africa in 2012, many of my fellow Australians suggested it was because I wasn’t eating enough KFC Zinger Burgers in between overs. I personally thought the reason was more to do with the fact I’d bowled 64 overs in 100 degree heat the previous Test, but there you go. I’m also so sick of standing around awkwardly at barbecues. I just hope I can do Duncan’s salads the way he likes them.”