The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has found a solution to Virat Kohli-led India’s request to allow WAGS (wives and girlfriends) of the players to accompany them on overseas cricket tours.
The Committee of Administrators (CoA) along with BCCI selectors met with the Indian team management comprising of Kohli, head coach Ravi Shastri, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane on Wednesday to discuss a host of issues and also reviewed the team’s performance this year.
A decision was also supposed to be taken on the WAGs issue but the COA declined to divulge any details of the meeting to the media thereafter.
But according to reports in Mumbai Mirror, the BCCI is likely to take cues from its Australian counterpart and set a ‘family period’ for the WAGs.
Cricket Australia works with the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) and finalises a certain period for the family members. This is called the family period where families come and visit the players for a set period of time, the duration of which varies from tour to tour.
The Australian cricket team is currently playing a two-match Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates and the board has allowed WAGS to stay with the players for the entire duration. “They vary tour by tour,” a CA spokesman told Mumbai Mirror.
Indian players are currently engaged in a two-match Test series against the West Indies after which they will play five ODIs and three T20 internationals till November 11. The team will then travel to Australia to play three T20Is, four Tests and three ODIs from November 21 to January 18.
The current rule allows WAGs of India cricketers to accompany them for only 14 days after the first two weeks of a 45-day tour abroad. Previously the policy was to allow WAGs to be with the players for one of the formats in a long tour.
India cricketer Gautam Gambhir weighed in on this debate and said that family presence on tour works for some players but it may not for another.
“The player opinion varies. Only an individual can say because the individual has to play a Test match. Some want family to be there for the whole tour while others want little family time and they try to concentrate (on cricket),” Gambhir told India Today.
“Whatever the decision, it should be taken in the best interest of Indian cricket,” Gambhir added.
Sources in BCCI however, have confirmed that they are not hurrying into a decision bearing in mind the possibility that too much family time can influence practice time on tour.
“Yes he (Virat) had requested, but we are not going to take any decision soon. We have said that we will leave it to the new office bearers. The policy will not change now,” a source close to the CoA told ANI.