The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) treasurer Arun Dhumal has clarified that the board has no role in determining the food choices of the players after the latest controversy over the new dietary plan of the Indian team. Dhumal said the players are free to choose what they want to eat and what they don’t want to eat.
In their dietary plan for the upcoming first Test of the two-match series against New Zealand in Kanpur, the Indan team management had requested strictly no pork and beef for the players. The catering request also clearly mentioned that the players will consume only halal meat.
Soon the dietary plan became a major talking point on social media with many dragging BCCI into the controversy and questioning the board over dictating the food choices of the players. Some also blamed for promoting halal meat. However, Dhumal clarified that the board has no role in creating the diet plan and it must have been made at the request of the players.
“This (diet plan) has never been discussed and will not be enforced. I don’t know when this decision was taken or if it was. As far as I know, we never issued any guidelines related to diet plans. As far as food habits are concerned, it is the individual choice of players, BCCI has no role in it,” the BCCI treasurer was quoted as saying by India Today.
“This ‘halal’ thing may have happened on any player’s feedback at some point in time. For example, if a player says he doesn’t eat beef and if a foreign team comes then the food should not be mixed. This halal issue has never been brought to BCCI’s attention. The BCCI doesn’t advise any of its players what to eat and what not to eat. Players are free to choose their own food. Whether they want to be vegetarian, it’s their choice, whether they want to be vegan, it’s their choice, whether they want to be non-vegetarian, it’s their choice,” he added.
Reports had claimed that it was BCCI’s decision to include only halal meat for the players in their new diet regime. However, the dietary plan is only for the Kanpur Test against New Zealand and was shared with the host board – The Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) by the Indian team management.
It is a normal procedure for both teams to share their dietary, security and logistics plans with the host board before the start of an international match to ensure the players and staff members don’t face any issues. Indian cricket team’s menu on overseas tours reportedly often contains a directive to have halal meat on the menu.
While BCCI had no role in sharing the diet plan, the board was targeted online with several accusations surrounding the compulsion of only halal meat for the players in the Indian team for the New Zealand series.