“The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world” is a famous saying. But have you ever thought of hands, which are busy in scoring runs or taking catches in cricket fields, work behind the smoking hot food on your plate? Well, if not, then experience the food in these restaurants and tell us “how’s that!”
Who can forget Akram Khan, the towering figure from Chattogram. Akram was the skipper of Bangladesh team which won the ICC trophy in 1997. His Brother Iqbal Khan was also a famous sportsman in his prime. This Khan family owns a restaurant in Chattogram, named ‘Khowaja Resturant’, which is a sort of local diner. The next generation of Khan brothers also came up with new flavor of ideas and established more eateries in various parts of Bangladesh.
Nafees Iqbal, once a dashing opener of Bangladesh national team, is now busy with managerial roles with age level teams and franchise cricket, and also a fulltime restaurateur. He has opened a restaurant called ‘Dum Phunk’ at two posh locations of Chattogram. Serving traditional slow-cooked Dum Biryanis and many other cuisines, the restaurants have already earned a good spot in the travel guides. Whenever there is a cricket series in the port city, the players, journalists, visitors step in to ‘Dum Phunk’ at least once! Nafees was highly rated by the cricket experts for his stylish batting. But after a short-lived career, he is leaving his mark in his second innings as an entrepreneur. ‘Dum Phunk’ is certainly one of his best knocks with tasty food, comfortable interior and the restaurant is also budget-friendly.
Younger Brother of Nafees, Tamim Iqbal, the dashing left hander is also a big foodie. Among his teammates, he is the unofficial Michelin star! Men in red and green often follow his advices to find a preferable restaurant in abroad. Tamim is blessed to have Ayesha Siddiqa Iqbal in his life, who is a superb cook and baker. Recently, Ayesha opened her cake shop in the capital’s Gulshan area. The name is GOLOSO, which is located at the Banani Chef’s table.
Akram Khan also launched his new business venture called Cricketers’ Kitchen. Located at Gulshan lake front, the restaurant is decorated with the theme of cricket, but serves Mezbani delicacies! The traditional Mezbani food of Chattogram, which consists Mezbani Gosht (beef curry), Mezbani Daal (beef with chickpeas) and many more. Besides, they serve some delicious kebabs and various types of Biryani as well.
Sachin Tendulker, Sourav Ganguly and Virender Sehwag; they might be far ahead as cricketers comparing to Akram or Nafees, but one thing they could learn from the members of Khan family, which is scoring runs (money!) in the restaurant business! Sachin opened a restaurant called ‘Tendulker’s’, Sehwag launched his own restaurant called ‘Sehwag’s Favorite’, Sourav Ganguly opened ‘Ganguly’s Food Pavilion’; but all three of them failed miserably. The cricketers had lots of troubles with their managing partners and finally, the cricketers declared their innings as restaurateurs.
But some Indian players, who had the role of picking up wickets, are doing good in picking up customers in their eateries as well. Zahir Khan, former Indian quick bowler, has his ZK’s restaurants. Harbhajan Singh has a specialty north Indian cuisine chain – ‘Bhajji da Dhaba’.
Among the cricketers, the most notable restaurateurs are the Sri Lankan duo, Mahela Jayawardane and Kumar Sangakkara. Together they amassed big amount of runs for their country. Together they also run the ‘Ministry of Crab’, a plush restaurant in Colombo which serves seafood. According to some famous travel guides and websites, ‘Ministry of Crab’ is a must visit in Colombo for their authentic Sri Lankan sea foods, hand-picked fresh fish and obviously the experience! If you are lucky, you might catch up with Sanga or Mahela in the dining area.
If Sri Lanka is a heaven for seafood lovers, UAE is the paradise for Kebab eaters. Dubai, Abu Dhabi have a big population from Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. They brought in their delicacy which was infused with Arabian flavors. Ace Pakistani batsmen, Sayeed Anwar and Inzamam Ul Huq, who were revered for their shot selection and timing, also picked up the right spot to start their gourmet. Inzamam and Anwar, launched the brand ‘Meat One’ in Dubai, aiming to serve halal meat for kebabs. They were eyeing for spreading the business in the Middle East as well. They formed many partnerships in the field of cricket which harbored the team to victory. Their partnership in the field of food should last longer!
Chris Gayle might be the name of terror for the bowlers, but nobody can deny that he is the biggest entertainer of cricket at present. With the ability of scoring big runs with raining sixes, Gayle is the ultimate crowd puller of the modern-day franchise cricket. Now, he is almost a cricketing nomad, playing Twenty20 cricket in various parts of the world. But deep in the core, he cherishes the test cricketer part in him. That’s why, Gayle named his sports bar Triple Century. Located in Kingston, Jamaica, the sports bar reflects what Gayle is known for! Hot waitresses, mouthwatering dishes, big screens for watching games, loud music, dance floor; it’s a place for party like Gayle!
So, if you are up for a fine Leg Tandoori, or extra cover steak, feel free to hit any of the restaurants run by cricketers. They did not disappoint you in the fields, will not in the plate either.