WAGs or Witches?
With a little over a week until the first days play in Cardiff, a battle as engaging as the cricket itself (at least to the eye of the male punter) has emerged off the field. The battle is fierce, tough, unrelenting and above else, glamorous. It is the battle of the WAGs.
The place wives and girlfriends, or WAGs, have in sport has forever been a bone of contention between administrators, players and partners alike. One must look no further than the 2007 Rugby World Cup where the New Zealand All Blacks administrators imposed a ban on ‘intimacy’ between players and partners for the entirety of the tournaments duration. Famously, the most dominate country in world Rugby was bundled out of the tournament by France in the quarter finals. Dan Carter was later found slitting his wrists in the corner of a Paris hotel room.
As archaic and nonsensical as this policy seems, it is hard to pass judgment considering that until the mid 90’s, the Australian Cricket Board, as it was then known, saw no place for the partners of players on tours. This undoubtedly underlined the combative environment which Australian cricket found itself in during this period. In his autobiography Out of My Comfort Zone, Steve Waugh comments in length at how difficult it is being away from family for an extended period of time such as the length of time a tour to England is. The same sentiments are expressed by Adam Gilchrist in True Colours.
So the equation is simple, Husbands + Wives = Harmonious, happy team, right? Well, not always. Take, for example, the blow-up which reportedly occurred between rugged mans-man Simon Katich and stroke maker -come-rockstar, Michael Clarke after the Sydney test. ‘Katman’ was unhappy at the speed in which ‘Pup’ wanted to get the song out of the way so he could meet up with his glamazon missus, Lara Bingle. This serves as an example of something all men across the world can tell you – women complicate things.
It’s interesting to note that Cricket Australia invited the WAGs to join the players in pre Ashes camp. What was said in camp remains largely a mystery. We may never know if it was a quick run down on riding the Tube, or whether it was in fact tips on how to prepare an Ashes winning breakfast. The move itself even drew criticism from Wagga’s premier swinging bachelor, Michael Slater, who incidentally broke up with his wife on the 2001 Ashes tour.
Whilst the question of whether WAGs are a good or bad distraction for players during the ultimate cricketing contest is largely a subjective issue, your humble narrator suggests that if he was forced to spend lengthy periods of time looking at Matthew Hoggard and Ryan Sidebottom’s head, he’d want his 11/10 girlfriend waiting for him in his hotel room after the days play, just to take the edge off things.
In an exclusive to Spreading the Ashes, we can now reveal the starting XI for the first game in Cardiff. The XI we speak of, ofcourse, is the XI best WAGs who’ll be fighting it out for WAG Ashes supremacy this English summer.
- Georgie Katich – Simon Katich has had an amazing time of things since being reinstated into the test team. Perhaps he was just debating with Clarke who had the better missus after the Sydney test?
- Lucy Gilman – We don’t expect Ian Bell to get much game time this series, but we hope his missus gets plenty of air time. Probably could play the short ball better than Ian, too.
- Lara Bingle (c) – The most glamorous member of the squad, and thus captain, Michael Clarke’s fiance was asked at the press conference what she thought of cricket, to which she replied ‘They’re bastards to get rid of when they get inside the pantry’.
- Jessica Taylor - The former Liberty X singer is now shacked up with KP, who has done well for himself seeing as though he sports a skunk style hair do.
- Lee Furlong – Girlfriend of injury prone alrounder Shane Watson, Furlong does fine work on Fox Sports News. Fair sort as well.
- Rachel Flintoff – ‘Freddie’ was the hero for England in 2005, and we think Rachel does just as well as her grizzly bear husband.
- Emily Prior † – English keeper Matt Prior is an important member of the Poms, but his missus has been making waves across the world by being seen fraternising with disgraced billionaire Allan Stanford. Well played, Allan.
- Laura Coleman – Ex partner of English paceman Stuart Broad, Laura is also Ms England. Good effort from Broad who himself looks like a woman.
- Jessica Bratich – Jessica is undoubtedly the driving force behind Mitchell Johnson’s recent rich vein of form and is now rivaling the Bingle for the #1 mantle.
- Liz Kemp – Although Brett Lee’s ex-wife won’t be apart of the Ashes this year, we feel she deserves an honourable mention.
- Hannah Hibbert – Partner of Victorian fast bowler Peter Siddle, and living proof woodchoppers can get girlfriends.