No WAGs for English players during Ashes

Updated: 26 October 2010 14:44 IST

English players would not be allowed to bring their wives and girlfriends during the first two Tests of the five-match Ashes series in Australia.

London:

English players would not be allowed to bring their wives and girlfriends during the first two Tests of the five-match Ashes series in Australia.

Team director Andy Flower has barred his players from seeing their wives and girlfriends (WAGs) for the first five weeks of the tour to avoid possible distraction as they chase their first Ashes win in Australia in 24 years, the 'Daily Telegraph' reported.

"I did feel the need to restrict the presence of families on tour," Flower said at Lord's.

"I think it's important for us to get together as a group and focus fully on the game."

The team leaves for Australia on Friday and the first Test starts November 25 but wives, children and girlfriends will be welcome only from December 10 until mid-January, when the one-day series begins.

Himself a father, Flower knows it is difficult because the game keeps them away from their families and some cricketers such as Kevin Pietersen has also been vocal critics.

"It's a tricky thing for players and management ? most of us have kids," Flower said.

"If you've got a group of almost 30 people going away on tour you are going to have differing opinions and you can't please everyone all of the time. I think once the intent of the decision was explained, they accepted and respected it," he added.

The ECB currently pays for two weeks of family visits for the cricketers while the remaining number of days are funded by the players.

"We try to time the families' visit when it would be healthy thing for the group," Flower said.

"Having them there will be a good thing, as we'll have been on tour five weeks by then. It also coincides with Christmas and New Year and it's important to be with family over that time."

Flower also expects Kevin Pietersen to hit form during the Ashes.

"I expect great things from him," said Flower. "He wants to make a big contribution and this is a great stage for him to do that. He's a special player and I expect him to be a stand-out on this tour."

Topics : Cricket England Australia
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