Ahead of the first test between India & New Zealand in Kanpur, a controversy over dietary recommendations for the Indian team erupted as players were prohibited to eat any meat other than ‘halal’ meat.
The topic soon became the topic of debate on social media & finally, the BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal has opened up on this matter. As per the rumored recommendation, the players were directed to not eat beef & pork in any manner while other categories of meat were allowed only in ‘halal’ form. However rubbishing all the rumors, Dhumal speaking to the media cleared that the BCCI has no role to play in the matter as food choices always remain as per the individual’s preference.
“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,” Dhumal said.
“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,” he added.
Further elaborating on the ‘halal meat’ controversy, Dhumal clearly said that the BCCI never recommends its players about what their diet preference should be. What kind of food they should consume & what they should not as it always remains an individual choice be it vegetarian or non-vegetarian.
“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.”
As per the reports in media, it’s only the team management that conveys dietary plans ahead of the start of a series of tournaments. The catering requirement for the series, in fact, always goes through the host board.