No Wives and Girlfriends down under

Scoring a hundred and blowing a kiss to his girlfriend Anushka Sharma was a common sight with Virat Kholi during the recently concluded four-match Test series Down Under.

The sight could vanish even if the Indian vice-captain manages to reach the triple figures during the ICC World Cup, which beings on February 14 in Australia-New Zealand. This comes after BCCI’s decision to not allow WAGs (Wife and Girlfriends) to be with the players during the showpiece event, which ironically begins on Valentine’s Day.

Last summer, during the series in England, Kohli had to encounter a lot of criticism for his failure with the bat for being ‘distracted’ with the actor co-habiting with him. But, the Delhi lad came out strong as runs soon started flowing from his bat. Criticism took a back seat and Kholi was once again the man to look up to.

Though the players have been quiet about the board’s decision, some believe that such a restriction is totally uncalled for. “This is a ridiculous decision. You can’t ask a matured cricketer what to do,” said the former Pakistani spinner Saqlain Mushtaq, during his conversation with one of the national news channels a week ago

“By not allowing a player his social life, the Board could put the player under more pressure,” he added.

Saqlain himself has been the victim of such restrictions in the past. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had imposed a similar restriction during the 1996 World Cup.

But Saqlain allowed his girlfriend to stay with him in the team hotel and would hide her in the cupboard whenever any PCB official would come, something that makes the Pakistani bowler still nostalgic.

Will the presence of the loved one be a distraction or will it act as a catalyst for the players who will be involved in 49 gruelling days of cricket, only time can say. But, one can be sure that the Indian board has taken the job at hand with utmost seriousness by saying #WeWontGiveItBack.

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