Major Milestone For Cricket As More Top Players Go Vegan

An increasing number of athletes are starting to ditch animal products from their diets for health and ethical reasons
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A cricketer

More cricketers are ditching animal products

Vegan cricketer Peter Siddle has just broken a record for the Australian team. The fast bowler returned to the national team making a comeback which has missed more games than any other.

We suspect that he’s also participated in a vegan record in an international since then.

On January 12, Siddle was recalled to the Australian team to play India having last played in a One Day International (ODI) eight years and 68 days previously. He missed 169 internationals, more than any other before making his return.

A range of issues

Siddle's absence from the national team has been caused by multiple factors: he's been dogged by a stress fracture in his back, and faced tough competition from emerging younger fast bowlers. In that time he's still played for Australia in five-day tests, notably when on his 26th birthday he became the ninth Aussie to take a hat-trick in a test.

His return to the national ODI team has been rumored for several months in the press, while his return to fitness has been seen as a testament to his determined fitness program. Meanwhile, his veganism has broken the meat and beer stereotype many Australian cricketers have lived up to.

His wedding to vegan Anna Weatherlake featured an enormous vegan cake and the couple have rescued dogs.

He's been quoted as saying: "The difference in my recovery time and energy levels has been the biggest thing I've noticed. In between matches, my recovery time has been fantastic and it has improved out of sight.

"This is really important when there is a short turnaround between matches. We have had some big games in the past couple of years and I've been really pleased with how my body, since making the change to a plant-based diet, has been able to handle the workload and bounce back from big training sessions and games without sustaining an injury."

Animal cruelty

He's also said: "Animal cruelty played a huge part in my decision to go plant-based. After learning a lot more about the processes of factory farming, battery hens, abattoirs etc, I realized that the meat industry was something I wanted nothing to do with.

"The mental conflict I felt when consuming meat and the thought that an animal had lost its life just for my appetite deeply upset me.

"Before I learned what went on behind the doors of the meat industry, I was unable to make the connection with the beautiful animal that once was and what now sat in front of me on my plate."

Vegans in the match

Moving on from his comeback in the first ODI of the season Siddle played in the second and then third ODI of the series against India , where he was joined in the bowling attack by Adam Zampa.

Zampa is also vegan, having made the change in line with his partner and family members in response to discovering about cruelty in the farming industry. He's fronted PETA campaigns in favor of veganism and the spin bowler has a rescued goat.

We believe this was the first ODI featuring two vegans in the history of the sport. This comes just a few years after a time when veganism was virtually unknown in top-level cricket, and is yet another indicator that veganism in sport is here to stay.

More records?

But maybe the records don't stop there.

The Indian side featured batman Virat Kohli. Widely touted as the greatest batsman of the current era in the five-match Test format, Virat has been reported as adopting a vegan diet.

The Times of India reported that 'Kohli started this diet four months ago and is feeling stronger as his digestive power has increased' (indicating that he turned vegan around April 2018). The Times also quoted Kholi's wife Anushka Sharma as saying 'two years ago, when he was on a normal diet, he had said he would go vegan if given a choice. He is now feeling stronger than before.”

Zamba has not yet been added to the Great Vegan Athletes website as we’ve not been able to complete a remote interview with him. We’ve spoken with his father online, although Zamba's hectic playing schedule and high profile has made it understandably difficult. We would welcome a player of his caliber to the site.

We would also love to hear from Virat Kohli about his veganism. In the meantime we would like to celebrate what appears to be a milestone for cricket and veganism in a fantastic period for vegans in sport.