The Indian women team which is currently touring England have only one married member © Getty Images
The Indian women team which is currently touring England have only one married member © Getty Images

Aug 25, 2014

Recently the presence of wives and girlfriends of the cricketers of Team India in England is blamed for team’s poor show in the recent Test matches. But for the Indian women cricketer’s there is no such problem. As no husband or boyfriend is accompanying the players in the current tour of England. In fact the team has only one married cricketer, Poonam Raut.

“Our team has only one married woman”, says Mithali Raj. “Poonam Raut is a married member of our team”, she said over telephone from England. Poonam Raut, 24, recently got married and her husband (Swapneel) also plays for the police team in Mumbai, according to a report published in Kashmir Times.

Diana Edulji, the former woman player and captain, who played 20 Tests and 34 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) for India said about this matter, “During our time, there were several married woman players like Anjum Chopra, Rajni Venugopal, Rajeshwari Dholakia in the team, the players had no money [they are not handsomely paid even now] to take their husbands on tour.”

Another former woman player, Mamtha Maaben confirmed, “During my time as captain, no player had her husband on tour”. However, she adds, “there were one or two foreign woman player (s) whose husband or boy-friend traveled with the players on India tour”. Cally Barlow, the wife of former South African player and coach late Eddie Barlow believes that wives or girl-friends presence on tour is beneficial.

Speaking from London, where she has settled since Eddie Barlow’s death, Cally says, “My view — and Eddie’s was that wives and girlfriends were a good and calming influence. The trouble started when there were small children involved and then if there were problems with them the player was distracted and probably expected to sort out the problem!”

“As we say they are there to play cricket, not be a nursemaid. Previously in the Forces, Army and Navy personnel could be away from family for a very long time but with the advent of flight, they were able to visit them wherever they were. Some players feel better with their wives/girlfriends with them and others would rather be alone!”, she signed off.