England captain Andrew Strauss has admitted that the support of family members during crucial tournaments gives a ‘boost for the side’.
Strauss’ comment comes after England coach Andy Flower barred players from seeing their wives and girlfriends (WAGs) for the first five weeks of the tour to Australia.
It’s the first time that the players’ families have been barred from part of a tour since England traveled to Zimbabwe and New Zealand in 1996/97.
“I’ve always thought that having the families on tour is a great kind of boost for the side,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Strauss, as saying.
“When they arrive they can really kind of give a sense of perspective or balance and prevent you from getting too caught up in what’s going on, but a part of our preparation for this tour was [deciding] what’s the right time for them to arrive,” he added.
Earlier, Flower had said that the squad will not be allowed to see their families until after the second Test in Perth, scheduled to finish on December 7.
“We need that period at the start of the tour with no families present. It is important to get together and focus fully on the game,” Flower had said.
It is a big change from recent England tours, but Flower is heeding the lessons of the disastrous 5-0 whitewash four years ago when several players had families present for much of the tour.
The first of the five Ashes Tests will be held at The Gabba in Brisbane from November 25 to 29.
It will be followed by Tests in Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.
The tour also has two Twenty20 clashes and a seven-match ODI series.