By Thando Ncube
Zimbabwean cricket authorities, in an attempt to mask the food shortages in Zimbabwe, have instructed the Proteas, to eat at the team hotel and not look for food outside.
A Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) official said they have made sure that there is enough good food at the team hotel for the Proteas and any player who went looking for food outside would be taking his own chances.
"We have made sure that whatever the South Africans need in terms of food is there at the team hotel,"said the official.
"Those who then want to go out to look for food at fast food outlets would be doing that at their own will. In any case pizza and fast food is not food, the proper food is at the hotel."
When South Africa arrived in Bulawayo on Monday afternoon, they were whisked away directly to the hotel for their lunch.
At a reception to welcome Graeme Smith and his team on Monday evening, there was so much meat that the guests could not finish it.
This measure by the Zimbabwean cricket authorities is a bid to avoid a repetition of the embarrassing scenario of last week when the South Africa A cricket team players were turned away at fast food outlets in Bulawayo which had run out of food.
So infuriated by the reports were ZC that on Monday their controversial managing director Ozias Bvute nearly assaulted a Bulawayo based journalist whom he accused of having been responsible for leaking the story to the South African and UK media.
The Proteas are in Zimbabwe for three one-day international matches, the first match is in Bulawayo today, while the last two are in Harare on Saturday and Sunday.
South Africa is using the matches to prepare for the Twenty20 World Championship, which they will host next month. - Independent Foreign Service