Team India has resumed its journey after its World Cup semi-final defeat at New Zealand’s hands. The post-mortems may be over, but certain issues remain. One that should be resolved quickly is of wives and girlfriends on tour with players. There is no news yet on whether any WAGs are in Florida, US, where the team is playing the West Indies. Granting permission has been left to the coach and captain. They may well be the best people to judge. But the issue runs deeper than lighthearted banter of social media friendships, that seem to have taken a hit in the heat of the World Cup campaign. Skipper Virat Kohli may have brushed aside all the flak since some “unfollowing” events took place. However, as they say, there is no smoke without fire. The wives of cricketers can hardly be blamed for on-field performances.
In earlier eras, the BCCI used to decide causally when wives would be on tour. The South Africans showed the modern way with deep thinking on the fallout of long tours as the divorce rate among senior cricketers seemed well above the national average. The empathy factor kicked in with WAGs allowed to stay on tours for longer, lest their cricket “widowhood” led to more marriages collapsing. Finding the balance between concentrating on cricket and personal distractions can be hard. The age of whimsical decisions is, however, over. Kohli and Shastri have the added responsibility of deciding how to handle this issue for Team India. Needless to say, much needs to be done on the cricketing front too, besides fixing personal issues. The most important thing is harmony within the team, and that shouldn’t be allowed to be hampered by the interplay of WAGs and cricketers.