Ashes 2013-14: Peter Siddle hungry to leave some banana skins in England's path

The Australian bowler eats 20 of the yellow fruit a day

Brisbane

What the modern cricketer eats is beginning to dominate this Ashes series. Following the revelations about England’s exotic dietary demands for their players during the Test series – piri-piri breaded tofu has never been more popular – attention has now shifted to Peter Siddle of Australia.

Siddle is the sort of up-and-at-’em, tearaway fast bowler whom you imagine to train on raw red meat while running over a bed of hot coals. The coals may still be a possibility but it turns out he eats 20 bananas a day and is a vegan.

“I live with a plant-based diet now, that’s my lifestyle,” said Siddle, shocking all those who wonder how he can therefore continue to bowl with such venomous fury. “My partner has been a vegan all her life.

“I’ve had a few niggles throughout my career and I did a lot of research about different ways to approaching my cricket and that’s the lifestyle I’ve gone down. I’m feeling fit and strong.”

This is hard to reconcile with Siddle’s background as a hugely promising woodchopper from a family of champion woodchoppers. He takes his bananas in all shapes, sizes and modes and it seems he buys them from the supermarket. He liked the suggestion of having a banana tree in his garden but then realised he was not at home often enough to eat them.

Siddle has become a staple in Australia’s attack. His constant effort is admirable, respected and admired by selectors and fast bowlers alike. Siddle is the sort of fast bowler who runs in all day.

He will for ever be associated with The Gabba, where he became the first Australian bowler to take a hat-trick on the ground against England three years ago. It put Australia on top in the match and it was impossible to tell then that the series would turn irrevocably England’s way when they made 517 for 1 in their second innings.

“It’s a highlight of my career but we play cricket to win Test matches,” Siddle said. Which, as Siddle well knows, is not something Australia have done much of recently, failing to emerge victorious in any of their most recent nine Tests.

“I think our team is a lot stronger,” he said. “We learnt things in England from the way we finished off. It was a disappointing result, we didn’t want to lose 3-0, but we know what we can do differently, we know how to approach it. There are a few things we needed to work on but we have them covered.”

Siddle, who took 17 wickets against England last summer, will be as combative and irrepressible as ever in this Ashes. England will always know of his presence and if words are exchanged – as they will be – it is unlikely that they will be swapping notes on diets. But you never know. A man who eats 20 bananas a day must occasionally long for a pumpkin seed and goji berry bar.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine