In the early stages of Brendon McCullum’s time as head coach, the England Test team has been letting go of support personnel. A chef, however, has been added to the group for their impending visit to Pakistan.

The appointment follows a recap of the limited-overs team’s seven-match T20I series experiences in the country. Players and support personnel said that the cuisine, especially at match locations, was not that good, and a few experienced stomachaches at various points during the tour.

The difficulties experienced were by no means severe; nobody fell ill for a protracted length of time, and England went on to win the thrilling series 4-3. But given the demands of a Test match, not to mention the back-to-back format of the three-match series over 21 days in three different cities (Rawalpindi, Multan, and Karachi), having someone oversee food preparation and customise menus in accordance with specific needs and preferences felt necessary to control.

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While on the T20 trip, Moeen Ali, playing the role of interim captain, made light of the rivalry between Lahore and Karachi’s culinary traditions “I’ve been a little let down by Lahore’s cuisine. Karachi was quite pleasant.” Those who want to try the regional cuisines may relax knowing that Lahore is not on the schedule this time around and Karachi will host the third Test.

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According to ESPNcricinfo, Omar Meziane, who served in a comparable capacity with the England men’s football team at the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020, will fill the position.

The change by the Test squad will satisfy picky diners while also putting Jack Leach at rest. The left-arm spinner has Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease, and must follow a rigorous diet in addition to taking immunosuppressant medicine to treat his condition.

Leach experienced serious food illness on a visit of New Zealand in November 2019, which led to his hospitalisation and sepsis. Despite being able to go for the next South African Test tour, he was unable to participate in any of the activities due to the consequences of the earlier sickness and had to leave the trip early.

The ECB has previously provided food when travelling, even though this may be the first time they have deliberately hired a chef for a trip. The Sydney Morning Herald obtained a file titled “Test catering criteria” that was provided to all hosting venues prior to the dismal 2013–14 Ashes.

The 82 pages, which included 194 recipes for everything from protein-rich “banana and peanut bars” to Moroccan spiced griddled chicken fillets with lime and coriander mayo, were dubbed “modern pretentious” by the Herald. It didn’t help England in their humiliating 5-0 loss.