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Indian team almost went out to play on empty stomach against Pakistan


Mumbai : Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni revealed Friday that his players had almost missed their meal during Wednesday’s semifinal against Pakistan in Mohali.

Dhoni said that the staff at the Taj Hotel in Chandigarh could not serve them food on time and the players had to leave for the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium on an empty stomach. They finally had lunch just before the toss prior to the high-voltage semifinal.

“I did not want to say this. But, before the semifinal, the first meal the team had was at a quarter to two because the food was not served at the hotel. They said it would take over an hour. So we turned up at the ground and there was not enough food for everyone,” Dhoni told reporters on the eve of the World Cup final against
Sri Lanka.

“So we had an early warm-up at the ground and said okay, the meal would be after the warm-up. We went into the field and did the warm-up and the meal we had was before the toss,” he added.

Dhoni downplayed the incident saying that it was not a “distraction”.

“These are the things which can distract you to some extent, but what is important is that what you can do about it. Because you may scream but you would not get the food. What is important is to use the time in the best possible manner. I don’t think that should be a big concern or a distraction at all,” he said.

“The situation was different over there because there are not many big hotels in Mohali. Here you have plenty of big hotels and I have quite a few friends who’d be ready to bring food in half-an-hour’s time,” Dhoni said.