May 28, 2021
In a new book extract, the former Observer and Guardian writer looks at cricket’s relationship with food, from fielders jostling for sandwiches to Viv Richards struggling for words
Feeding frenzy: the central role of meal times in the life of a cricketer | Vic Marks
Cricketers – and Cricket writers – tend to adhere to Napoleon’s mantra: they like to march on their stomachs. They have always done so, as the tale of George Gunn – a Nottinghamshire batsman for three decades either side of the first world war – demonstrates.
In his day, play usually began at 11.30am with the players withdrawing for lunch at 1.30pm, but occasionally there might be a change to the schedule with the game starting at noon and lunch being taken at 2pm. The story goes that in one of these games Gunn, having taken umbrage that play was still going on, got out deliberately half an hour before the interval; he tucked his bat under his arm and headed towards the pavilion, announcing that “George Gunn lunches at 1.30”. Upon his arrival in the dining room he would not have been greeted by piri piri breaded tofu.
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