India captain Virat Kohli has requested the cricket board to allow wives of players to accompany the team for the full duration of overseas tours. The current policy restricts the stay of wives of players and support staff to just two weeks.
It is learnt that Kohli first broached the issue with a top BCCI official who in turn conveyed the team’s request to the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) headed by Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji.
Sources said that the CoA has now asked Indian team manager Sunil Subramaniam to make a formal request to change the rule but that they would not be taking a decision any time soon. Since this will require a shift in the BCCI’s stance, the CoA is expected to postpone the decision to a time when the new BCCI body will be in place.
“The request was made a few weeks back but as it is a BCCI policy decision, the manager will have to submit a formal request first. Anushka has been travelling with Kohli overseas, however, Kohli now wants the old rule to be abolished and a new policy should come up where wives should be allowed to travel with the Indian team,” a source said.
The cricketing world for long has been divided on allowing wives and girlfriends on long tours. At present, most countries have restricted family time. In 2007, after an Ashes disaster, the England and Wales Cricket Board asked an independent sports administrator to determine the reasons for the 5-0 whitewash against Australia. The report recommended a limit on the time wives and girlfriends should be allowed on tour. This did not go well with players and England’s star batsman Kevin Pietersen had called the suggestion a “load of nonsense”.
During the 2015 Ashes, former Australia wicket-keeper and reputed commentator Ian Healy blamed wives and girlfriends for Australia’s dismal showing. On this tour, reports of an alleged bust-up between the wives of Michael Clarke and David Warner surfaced. After Healy’s remarks, Warner’s wife Candice Falzon had reiterated the importance of families on a long tour.
“I think a lot of them would be very unhappy if their kids and their partners weren’t here. There’s a lot of things we do behind the scenes that people don’t know to help get the boys on the field,” she had said.