"Wives on tour may create crucial problem of divided loyalties"
MUMBAI, OCT 9: World's renowned sports psychologist Dr. Phil Jauncey is "not sure" whether Team India skipper Virat Kohli's suggestion to have players' wives on entire long tour is beneficial.
Dr. Jauncey, who has mentored several Australian and Bangladeshi cricketers in the past, is now in Sri Lanka to prepare Dinesh Chandimal's boys for the tough series against England team.
"There are a variety of sides to the issue. On the one hand are the needs of the wife, children and husband (who may be separated for long periods of time during tours). On the other are the needs of the team", speaking exclusively over telephone from Sri Lanka, he said.
"Tours are times when team members can bond and build great relationships. The other major factor is one of divided loyalties. Whereas before on tour the team always came first unless there was a drastic emergency, on the other hand now if the families are there, the players are torn between spending time after training, games, etc with staying with teammates or quickly returning to their families".
"More crucial is the problem of divided loyalties. It is common knowledge that on some past tours wives have had spats (or bigger) with other wives and that then created divisions in the team. This puts the player in the middle. Does he stand by his wife against a teammate's wife or try to remain neutral? Where does this put the coach and support staff?", he asked.
"From a psychological point of view, it certainly not clear whether the gains having family on tour outweigh the potential negative affect caused. Conversely, one cannot say with total confidence that the gains of having no family on tour outweigh the negatives of separation", Dr. Jauncey concluded.