Kitchen Confidential

High on adrenaline and action,a game of T20 cricket is also very exhausting for the players.

Written by Jagmeeta Thind Joy | Chandigarh | Published:April 20, 2012 2:31 am

High on adrenaline and action,a game of T20 cricket is also very exhausting for the players. While it might seem that Gautam Gambhir gorged on a power-packed meal to bat like he did against King XI Punjab (KXIP) the other night,the fact is that the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) stuck to homestyle khichri and wholewheat club sandwich minus the bacon.

Not many fans would be aware that the cricketers playing the current season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) follow a mostly vegetarian,low on carbohydrates and high on protein diet. As tempting as the multi-cuisine buffet might be at the JW Marriott,Chandigarh,which is hosting most of the teams that come to play at Mohali,players have skipped the grease to stay on course their diet plans. “Most players prefer to order room service for their meals and stick to basic,light and healthy fare like salads and vegetables sautéed in less oil,” says Pallav Singhal,executive chef,JW Marriott,Chandigarh.

With teams like KXIP,KKR and now Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) camping in the hotel,the chefs have been hard at work dishing out specially worked out menus that are not just nutritious but flavoursome as well. “We have been briefed by the nutritionists accompanying the teams to keep the calorie count low and offer high-fibre meals,” says Singhal.

Giving paranthas a miss for breakfast,players,say the hotel’s staff,prefer muesli,vegetable juices like bitter gourd,cucumber and lemon,carrot and beetroot. Special chokker rotis accompany the homestyle chicken curry that’s mostly ordered along with Caesar salads without the calorie-rich dressing. The players are avoiding any kind of dessert,say the chefs who were assigned to players like Adam Gilchrist,Praveen Kumar,Piyush Chawla and Gautam Gambhir.

Also a “light eater” is Preity Zinta who has stuck to ordering just pasta during her stay. Pasta Arrabiata was also the choice of fare for Pakistani cricketer Azhar Mahmood,the newest player to arrive in the KXIP squad. “The Indian players prefer light dals and rotis and rarely order anything Continental,” adds Singhal.

A visit to the hotel’s cafe that was frequented by some team players during lunch hour sprung a few surprises on Thursday. RCB captain Daniel Vettori gravitated towards a specially put up chaat counter and paneer tikkas while KKR’s Yusuf Pathan was seen enjoying a biryani while engrossed in a discussion with team’s bowling consultant Wasim Akram. “I love Indian food and specially the biryani,” Gilchrist remarked. The biryani has also found favour with David Hussey who didn’t shy away from piling up his plate with a generous helping. The KXIP players will take on RCB on Friday (April 20) at PCA stadium,Mohali.

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