The England cricket team has hired a chef for its upcoming Test series against Pakistan amid catering concerns, according to a report by ESPNcricinfo.

England are set to tour Pakistan for a Test series in December. The tour opens with the first Test in Rawalpindi from Dec 1 to Dec 5, before Multan hosts the second from Dec 9 to Dec 13. The third and final Test will be in Karachi on Dec 17 to Dec 21.

According to ESPNcricinfo, the appointment comes following a debrief of the limited-overs side’s experiences in Pakistan during their seven-match T20I series in September.

“The feedback from players and support staff was that the food on offer, particularly at match venues, was not quite up to scratch, with a handful suffering from upset stomachs at certain parts of the tour,” the report said.

The report noted that while the issues encountered by the visiting side were not drastic, “having someone to oversee food preparation and tailor menus according to specific requirements and tastes throughout felt a necessary controllable to control” given the demands of a Test match.

“Indeed one of Cricket Australia’s few regrets from their successful tour of Pakistan earlier this year was not taking a chef with them,” the report alleged.

ESPNcricinfo said Omar Meziane, who worked with the England men’s football team in a similar role during the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020, would likely assume the role.

The report also noted that left-arm spinner Jack Leach suffered from Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease, and took immunosuppressant medication to manage the illness while being strict about what he eats.

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