Rod Marsh, a man of old-school cricket values, says it’s “codswallop” to attribute an Ashes loss to the presence of wives and girlfriends.
Captain Michael Clarke and coach Darren Lehmann have both slammed Ian Healy’s suggestion that WAGs were a distraction during the side’s failed campaign to retain the turn.
Fathers Mitchell Johnson and David Warner have also questioned the logic and why nobody queried the issue after the second Test at Lord’s.
Marsh, who played 96 Tests for Australia and recently returned to touring life as chairman of selectors, was even more forthright.
“It’s codswallop. Individuals can do what they want to do and (coach) Darren (Lehmann) endorses that,” Marsh said.
“What do you want? Do you want divorces? Do you want players unhappy?
“You’re going to be less happy as a person and they all say it.
“Seeing the kids at breakfast … to me it all looks like one big family and that, I think, is good. I think it’s brilliant.”
Ryan Harris, who retired on the eve of the five-Test series due to injury, used his Fairfax Media column to mount a spirited defence.
“My first reaction when I heard the girls were being blamed for our loss was anger,” Harris wrote.
“Where were all the critics when the girls travelled with us during the World Cup?
“I’d love for Joe Public to spend a year with the Australian cricket team when the schedule is the way it is and see how they go without their kids and families.
“I was really disappointed the criticism came from an ex-player, who has been in our position before.”
Marsh was also seething at the suggestion Clarke, who has battled a chronic injuries in the tailend of his career, was above the team because he travelled in a car for much of the series.
“There might be a reason for that. It might be a little bit more comfortable for him to be in the car and it might just really help him being fit,” Marsh said.
“It’s amazing how well he’s been physically this time over here. That’s probably the longest he’s gone without being a headline on Alex (Kountouris’) daily injury reports.”