India vs England Test Flashback: When Graham Gooch succumbed to prawns

India vs England Test Flashback: When Graham Gooch succumbed to prawns

Graham Gooch played his 100th Test match at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Graham Gooch in 1988
Graham Gooch in 1988. (Photo by Patrick Eagar/Patrick Eagar Collection via Getty Images)

England’s tour of India in 1992/93 didn’t get off to greatest of starts as they were levelled in ODI series at 1-1 and lost the first Test by a big margin. England quickly understood their situation in the Test series as they found themselves in turning tracks against India’s slow bowlers. In the first Test match at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, England were forced to follow-on after they were bowled out for just 163. A fairly better 2nd innings from the visitors saw them losing the Test by an eight-wicket margin.

The Indian spin-trio of Anil Kumble, Venkatapathy Raju and Rajesh Chauhan shared 17 out of the 20 England wickets after Mohammad Azharuddin’s 197-ball 182 in the first innings. This game turned out to be England captain Graham Gooch’s 100th Test match but he managed to score only 17 and 18 runs in the two innings. Gooch’s performance were needed in the remainder of the series for England as he scored a record 752 runs in the 3-match home series against India in 1990.

A dinner that went horribly wrong:

Graham Gooch
Graham Gooch. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Graham Gooch was served with prawns in the team hotel’s Chinese Restaurant for dinner on the eve of the 2nd Test match in Chennai. The England players were already used to eating prawns during the tour of India. However, the less Gooch knew was that the prawns he was served was a rogue portion. Gooch felt uneasy and ill by the time he woke the next morning. The England skipper had diarrhoea and dizzy spells ahead of the game forcing him to hand over the captaincy to the wicketkeeper Alec Stewart, his opening partner.

Gooch was permitted to his hotel room’s bed for the next three days till he recovered completely. He was accompanied from the stadium to the Hotel on day one by Robin Smith and Mike Gatting who couldn’t find a place in the playing XI. The duo reportedly had chicken for their dinner in the restaurant which caused a mess to their skipper.

Prawns ban:

Moved by the food poisoning, the England team management decided to stay away from prawns. In fact, the management opted for in-house food for the rest of the tour. The players were made to follow the diet consisting of baked beans, corned beef and naan bread. England lost the Chennai Test by innings and 22 runs and the final Test in Mumbai also by an innings margin. Gooch returned for the final Test where he scored only four and eight runs in the two innings.