There was a time when a Pakistan team coming to Kolkata meant many of the players would be found at the best restaurants gorging on biryani, murgh mussallam and tandoori chicken. But after all the drama, the security around the team has been so tight for the World Twenty20 this time that they have not been able to step out of their hotel even for a cup of coffee.
Even coach Waqar Younis conceded that this trip has been all about shuttling between the team hotel and the ground. “The security has been good. We have not left the hotel yet,” said Waqar. Except for Mohammad Hafeez, who went sari shopping on Thursday, all other players have been confined to their rooms. The Pakistan team has strictly relied on room service and the spread at the Eden Gardens dressing room during training sessions and matches.
Curiously though, there haven’t been many demands from the team. “They have been extremely courteous. Of course, we try to keep the dressing room menu as varied as possible,” said a person privy to the team’s activities at the ground. “We have stuck to light snacks like sandwich, fresh fruits like apple and banana, besides coffee and tea. We have also added chicken tandoori and different types of kebab to the menu for the Pakistan team,” he said.
There has been no special request for biryani from other restaurants though. Kolkata is famous for its Awadhi style biryani and Pakistan teams in the past used to make it a point to visit Arsalan, a restaurant famous for their biryani. This time they have only been ordering from the restaurant in the team hotel, sticking to usual fare like chicken biryani, mutton curry, naan and daal tadka. Some ordered Thai and Chinese food, but kakori kabab is a raging hit with players from all the teams, said a hotel spokesman.