real life

WAGs aren't a distraction. They deserve our respect.

This week saw the “darkest day” in Australia’s cricket history when the Australian batsmen made just 60 runs.

But one respected commentator wasn’t pointing his finger at the players. Former wicket keeper Ian Healy says the crickets are distracted by the presence of their wives and girlfriends.

One Australian WAG has a few things to say about that…

Thursday night sent shock waves through cricket lovers in Australia as we saw our beloved Ashes team all out for 60 in just 18.3 overs. It was the shortest first innings of a Test in history…Eeek!

So who shall we blame? The selectors? The coaches? The ground? Jet-lag? The Australian cricketers themselves? Or should we say that “England was the better side on the day?”

Nope. According a prominent Australian commentator, it was “the WAGs fault.”

As we are living in 2015, I am finding it hard to come to terms with this statement. To be honest, it makes my blood boil so I will try my best to be as calm as possible in addressing this prehistoric and, lets be honest, sexist point of view.

Here’s what Annie has to say about what being a WAG is really like.

Firstly, it seems quite clear that the people who are putting the blame on the WAGs for this poor cricketing performance, have a very short term memory. These are same partners were there when the cricketers quite comfortably won the second match.

australia ashes loss
“These are same partners were there when the cricketers quite comfortably won the second match.” Image: Getty.

Can you see? Partners supporting.

And see here? The final result. Winners!

There have also been many people that have questioned “what partner takes their partner to work with them?” Well, so far I haven’t seen any of the WAGs out on the field batting. I haven’t seen any bowling or fielding either. Additionally, I haven’t seen any WAGs coaching from the sidelines. Nope, just like the rest of the crowd, they are spectating – and not even close to the sidelines mind you!

And yes, many people have their partners support them. Federer has had his wife and children go to his games. Jay Z has been to Beyoncé’s concerts. Michelle Obama is frequently next to Barrack almost wherever he goes. We saw Buddy Franklin go see his partner, Jesinta Campbell, on the runway this week and she too goes to his football games. And my (not famous) Mum has gone to various of my Dad’s work functions (and vise versa!) Heck, my partner is standing behind me right now reading this line from over my shoulder as I work.

Annie and her partner, Western Bulldogs player Liam Picken at the Brownlow Medal in 2012.

The calls for the WAGs to “go home” and not be allowed on the trip is plain senseless. It is unreasonable for people to expect these players and their partners (and in some cases, children also) to be away from each other for up to three months at a time. The loneliness and longing to be together again I’m sure would have far greater strain on their performance than living together. Being together provides work/home life balance. I understand that many professions mean that couples have to be separated for periods of time but if you had the option of being with your partner, wouldn’t you choose to be together too?

Click through for a gallery of some of sports best known WAGs. (Post continues after gallery).

Professionally these men need to do what is right for them and communicate that to their partner when they feel something needs to change. My partner does not play cricket but does play AFL and he has had the conversation with me along the lines of “Hun, can you make sure the kids aren’t jumping on my head at 6am on game day?”

Have the people making these unbelievably ridiculous comments lost sight that it is in the best interest of both parties, including the players’ partners, that the cricketers perform at their very best? There are only 11 positions in the Australian cricket team and do people really believe that the WAGs would do anything to compromise their partner having a spot in that?

Just like any typical couple, they only want the best for them.

And do I need to remind the unkind commentators of the harrowing images we saw last November?

“We saw the partners of these players support these men very publicly as they grieved for the friend they had lost.”

Australia was confronted with a situation that was truly devastating and hard to comprehend when the very much loved and respected player, Phillip Hughes, was tragically killed in a freak accident during a match. Along with the the many photos, tributes and honours to Phillip Hughes’ wonderful legacy, it also uncovered the very human side to the Australian cricketers. We saw the partners of these players support these men very publicly as they grieved for the friend they had lost. This was less than 12 months ago.

FOR MORE:Full text of Michael Clarke’s beautiful tribute to his friend Philip Hughes.

Please give these women the respect they deserve.

At the end of the day these wives and girlfriends did not pin down their partners, duct tape them and poke them with cow prods to get these men to be with them. These men chose these women to spend their lives with. So even if the women were lighting up big joints, throwing TVs into the pool and playing music all through the night (which I am more than one thousand percent sure they aren’t) these men made the decision themselves to be with their partners. THEIR DECISION.

And finally in the hope that some equality of the sexes comes of this, watch out the partners of the Australian Diamonds Netball team. Let’s hope your partners play well because you might just be the next to blame.

For more from Annie, check out her blog Uncanny Annie. You can also follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

For more posts like this one, be sure to take a look here:

WAGS. The truth about the wives and girlfriends of the AFL

Forget the WAGs at the Alan Border medal. What about our female cricketers?

Australia’s female cricketers just got a massive pay rise. But it’s not all good news.

Apparently this woman isn’t ‘hot’ enough for her famous boyfriend?

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