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?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence