India skipper Virat Kohli and team management have requested for bananas to be present in abundance when they travel to England for the 2019 World Cup next year. The team also wants a reserved train coach and permission for the wives to travel with the players for the whole duration of the showpiece event.
As per a report in the Indian Express, these requests were put forward during the review meeting that the team management had with the Committee of Administrators (CoA) in Hyderabad ahead of the second Test between India and West Indies to chart the road ahead for the team.
“Apparently, the England cricket board failed to serve the Indian team with the fruit of their choice during the tour. But the CoA was amused by the request and said that the players should have told the team manager to buy bananas on the BCCI’s expenses,” the sources said.
“There were other demands about booking hotels with a proper gym and discussions about the duration and protocol regarding wives accompanying players on tours.”
The review meeting was attended by Kohli, Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, ODI vice-captain Rohit Sharma, coach Ravi Shastri and chairman of selectors MSK Prasad.
The players also wish to travel by train in England during the World Cup, a move which the CoA felt could raise security issues. “The CoA was initially not willing to agree because it was worried about security. But it was informed by Kohli that the England team travelled by train… The team wants a coach to be blocked and booked. The CoA was worried about travelling Indian fans mobbing the train. Eventually, the committee agreed under the condition that the CoA or BCCI won’t be held responsible if anything untoward happens,” the report quoted the source as saying.
Finally talks moved to the BCCI allowing the wives to accompany the players. The CoA will be arranging for a bus for the wives who will travel to Australia at the end of this year. “There have been instances in past where a few players have driven with their wives separately. The board wants to stop that practice as it affects team bonding,” the source said.
As for allowing wives to travel for the whole duration of a tour, the source said: “It was felt that some players might view this as a distraction during tours. They (CoA) want to make sure that everyone is onboard before they give the green light.”