Davinder Singh, the head chef at the Le Meridien, where the Pakistan players are staying, won't be one of the millions of Indians who've switched to 'thrash-the-archrivals' mode. Far from it. Davinder says he would love nothing more than serve up Awadhi specialities for the Pakistani cricketers — especially Shoaib Akhtar — given the “friendly and energetic” lot they are.
"They are nice people," Davinder said, just before the team's arrival at the hotel. "They are not fussy at all. They love Indian hospitality and the ambience."
Davinder hosted the team during last year’s Champions Trophy and remembers Shoaib’s appetite. "He was probably hungrier than the other players and particularly loved our thin paranthas," the chef said.
When asked if there was anything he would feed the temperamental fast bowler to help him keep his cool, Davinder laughed. "No. But it is interesting to see him back. He's so dynamic; I'm yet to meet anyone livelier." He said that the players, many of whom he had interacted with last year, had simple requirements. "They are good meat eaters, so we'll serve up a lot of mutton biryani, kababs and murg musallam.” He said they preferred eggs and paranthas for breakfast. For the main course, he's readying a "redefined buffet with enhanced variety" that won't be as spicy as regular Indian food but "will keep the players' stomachs happy and satisfied."