Calls for WAGs to be banned from Ashes Test
Former England cricket skipper Michael Vaughan believes Australia should delay the arrival of the team's wives and girlfriends in the UK until after the first Ashes match.
The Test, starting on August 1 in Birmingham, will mark the return of Steve Smith and David Warner to the baggy green following their year in exile for cheating.
Vaughan believes much of the heat will have been taken out of the Smith-Warner sideshow by the time the Ashes kicks off, given that the World Cup will have already been played in front of English crowds.
But Vaughan warns that Australia should still be wary of the potential distraction of families arriving on the eve of such a massive series.
The Fox Cricket expert and England great insists the healthy presence of families around camp should be encouraged, but believes it can be strategically managed so there is some team-only time to prepare.
"It can be a distraction," Vaughan said. "I think you've got to be respectful that these players play so much away from home that if they want their families there they should have that, and they've got so much money they can bring them with them anyway.
"The one thing I will say is that preparation time for the first Test match, I personally used to like the families out of the way.
"I just felt it was team time. It was time where you're trying to find out roles within the side.
"You're trying to find that bonding as a team unit and just for that initial preparation and first Test match week I always felt it helped teams I was involved in.
"Players are different these days and obviously every individual is different, but I like the build-up to any away series in particular to be just the team."
Australian players will spend more than four months on English soil this winter and administrators are looking at ways to set up a home base for their families in the UK.
After the first Test, Vaughan said the families can enhance the environment.
"It's actually good to get the families then because you don't want to be hanging around with your team all the time, they get on your nerves," he said.
Vaughan said he doesn't believe the intense focus around Smith and Warner will affect Australia during the Ashes and is adamant both must return.
"It works better for Australia that the World Cup is in England. That sideshow should have taken place already," he said.
"The first two weeks of the World Cup it's all going to be about Smith and Warner and I think that will get it done and dusted.
"Of course the crowd is going to get into them - that's going to be the norm. The crowd gets into the Aussies in England anyway."
Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts said on the ABC on Saturday that families would be accommodated.
"If you look at this winter we'll have some players who are competing in the World Cup and then the Ashes - they'll be over there for more than four months," he said.
"So we're actually having discussions now about what can we do to establish a bit of a sense of a home base in the UK for those players and our support staff who are there for such a long time.
"How can we get their families in perhaps more than we might have in previous times, because that's going to be a really exciting period, having a World Cup and an Ashes back to back in England, it's a once in a lifetime experience."