"No WAGs", says BCCI as Indian Cricket Team gear up for Tests against England
- The management is keen to make sure that no mistakes from their part will hamper a probable Test series win against England
What's the story?
We are all familiar with the players of Team India accompanied by their wives or girlfriends as they play, even in India or abroad. Many a time we have seen the beaming faces of Anushka Sharma, Ritika Sajdeh or Sakshi Dhoni on camera as Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma or MS Dhoni, their respective significant halves, shine on the field for the country.
However, in the latest piece of news, it is being learned that the cricketers have been asked to make do without their family or close ones for at least a month, as India will play against England in an upcoming five-match Test series.
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It is speculated that the team management involving officials from the BCCI has a role in the new decision, where the cricketers will not be allowed to be with their WAGs during the game. The management justifies the decision, based on circumstances that have happened in the past. On many occasions, the poor performance of players on the ground eventually ended up with fingers being pointed towards their family members and public outcries of shaming them.
One of the most memorable incidents of this instance would be the cries of hatred against Bollywood actress and then-girlfriend of Indian star batsman and captain Virat Kohli. Kohli has been remarkably consistent throughout his career that when he got dismissed for a few cheap scores during India's Australia tour of 2014, Anushka's presence in the stands was blamed for allegedly "distracting" the player. This repeated during a later time as well, and Virat himself had to come out and lash at the public for bearing unrest on Anushka, who has married him since.
Another side of the same matter would be the presence of Ritika Sajdeh on the stands, which "seems" to have a positive effect on husband Rohit Sharma's batting. The swashbuckling opener recently slammed a double-hundred against Sri Lanka in December 2018, his third one, in the presence of Ritika. He also famously dedicated the innings to her as an anniversary gift. He followed that up with a 35-ball T20 hundred, again in the presence of his wife.
WAGs have been more or less a part of several sporting teams all over the world. Another incident would be when the German football squad took the ground with their families after the epic World Cup win of 2014. Previously, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had also famously proposed an idea of appointing a separate manager to manage WAGs on foreign tours conducted by the Indian Cricket Team, but the Committee of Administrators (COA) denied permission on the same.
At the end of the T20I and ODI series, many players had taken a few off days to spend some time with friends and family and to unwind ahead of the meticulous schedule ahead of them.
“We’ve had four days of rest before settling down for the serious task ahead. The players had moved out with spouses, friends, and relatives and on Monday we will leave for Chelmsford,” a source close to the Indian Cricket Team spoke to the Mumbai Mirror.
The Indian team had done well to win the initial T20I series against England at 2-1, and also led the ODI series at 1-0 at the end of the first game. However, they then lost track and lost two straight ODIs to surrender the series. In such a situation, the upcoming Test series against the same opposition will be scrutinized closely, with the management keen not to allow mistakes from their part to foil the chances of a probable series win. It is in this context that the Indian WAGs come under the scanner of the board.
It has hence been decided by the board to remain on the safer side of situations by not allowing the Indian cricketers to involve themselves with their friends and family, at least until the end of the first three games of the Test series.
Kohli and co. have already parted ways with their families by Sunday as they have now headed to Chelmsford from London for a four-day practice match against Essex, slated to begin on Wednesday, July 25. The first Test match of the five-match series will begin on August 1, 2018, and the series will go on until the fifth one ends on or before September 11, 2018.Published 24 Jul 2018, 16:08 IST